Request the FBI Investigate the Disappearance of Ember Skye Graham
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Thursday, July 2, 2015, Ember Skye Graham was reported missing from her playpen by her father, Matthew Graham.
On July 1, Ember, Matthew, and Ember’s mother, Jamie, spent the day shopping and eagerly preparing for their future together. Jamie was going to be moving into the trailer that Matthew lived in on his cousin’s property and Matthew was beginning junior college in the fall. Although Ember had been diagnosed with a seizure disorder at two months of age, she had been virtually seizure-free since beginning the medication prescribed to her by her doctors at UC Davis. Matthew and Jamie hoped the doctors might even allow them to try to wean Ember off the medication after her next appointment. Everything was falling into place for their little family.
Matthew woke sometime after 5:00 a.m. on July 2. His bed and Ember’s playpen were at opposite ends of the trailer. Ember’s playpen was nearest the door. Matthew immediately realized that the trailer door he’d closed the night before was now open and Ember was not there.
Frantically, Matthew called 911 and made his way to his cousin’s home also located on the 2-acre property. Sobbing, he explained that Ember was missing. His call to 911 dropped due to poor cell service. He called Jamie and called 911 again. He also called his mother.
Jamie and her family arrived within moments of law enforcement from Shasta County Sheriff’s Office. Jamie and Matthew were taken for questioning off-site. Matthew was ultimately held on a violation of his probation due to failing to complete his workdays as required by his sentence. He was also held on drug charges that were all later dropped and never proven.
Matthew Graham was never named a suspect in Ember’s disappearance. As the last person to have seen Ember, he was a person of interest. The term “person of interest” has no legal meaning, but refers to someone in whom the police are "interested,” either because the person is cooperating with the investigation, may have information that would assist the investigation, or possesses certain characteristics that merit further attention. (source: Wikipedia)
Shasta County Sheriff’s Office released a scathing portrait of Matthew and the property on which he lived. The information from this report has not been explained nor sourced, but it has been demonstrated at times to be untrue. Exaggeration and vocabulary choice compounded the false sense of the situation and incited fury and horror, causing the public to focus on Matthew. Matthew’s life was threatened repeatedly and there were calls made for individuals to hunt him down.
Matthew fled. He gave his family no explanation of his actions. We know it is possible he may have been following a lead in Oregon. He also may have been running for his life. In the end, he was trapped in a garage in Dunsmuir, California, surrounded by police from at least three different agencies with AR-15s and K9s while law enforcement helicopters flew overhead. Matthew was killed after being shot multiple times by 13 members of law enforcement.
As of now, it seems that Shasta County put in more money and effort and called in more resources to kill Ember’s father than they are willing to put into investigating the possible abduction of Ember Skye Graham herself.
Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko gave a news conference shortly afterward in which he stated Matthew’s death “would certainly impede the investigation because we believe that Matthew Graham was the only person that knew the whereabouts of baby Ember Graham.” It is unclear on what he bases this belief. The standard for law enforcement should be much higher than “belief.” It should be proof. To date, law enforcement, citing the “open investigation” has been unwilling to share any such proof with anyone, including Matthew’s wife and Ember’s mother, Jamie Graham.
The Graham family and Ember’s maternal family, the Tomlins, are often unable to get calls back from law enforcement regarding this case. We are uncertain if tips are being investigated. In the meantime, Sergeant Pat Kropholler of Shasta County Major Crimes stated in a news release that: “Matthew Graham’s original inconsistent statement coupled with irrefutable evidence places him in a remote area of Ono, California, during the timeframe in which detectives believe Ember went missing. The motive of why he abandoned her or what lead to him disposing of her body died with him.” He also stated that other third-party abduction scenarios were investigated; however, no one is aware of any such investigation. No one knows what the “irrefutable evidence” is either.
Thus far, nothing has been found regarding Ember other than a pacifier discovered alongside a road several days after Ember disappeared and after hundreds of searchers had been all over Happy Valley. Many people, friends and strangers, had been given access to Matthew’s property during this time as well, and his trailer was broken into at least twice while he was in jail awaiting his probation hearing.
There is and has been no indication Ember was harmed. There is no sign of Ember. Tests on Matthew’s truck were unremarkable. Surveillance footage from Happy Stop shows Ember awake and alert. By all accounts, Matthew was a loving father who adored his daughter.
One thing is abundantly clear: There has never been anything to suggest that Ember is deceased. In fact, all signs seem to indicate that someone, quite probably someone one who knew Matthew and/or Jamie Graham, abducted Ember.
We have seen no evidence that Ember Skye Graham’s disappearance was ever investigated thoroughly with all possible scenarios given appropriate resources and attention. From the outset, law enforcement did not treat Ember’s case as a possible abduction. There was no AMBER Alert or BOLO issued. Instead, during the first two days after Ember disappeared, Shasta County Sheriff’s investigators issued automated calls to locals requesting that families check “check your property, including barns and trash cans, for suspicious bags or freshly disturbed dirt.” Local law enforcement’s assumptions and the information presented to the media always seemed to insinuate that Ember was deceased despite the complete lack of evidence to support that theory.
Information released to the public was often misleading and inaccurate. The media published photos of an area of the property used for items intended for the dump instead of the area the family used for daily life. Speculation fueled a frenzied distribution of misinformation. Neither the media nor the sheriff put a stop to this.
The dogs on the property are old and arthritic. They are family pets and are kept inside at night.
Swamp coolers would have muffled any sounds on the property.
The area is rural. There is wildlife and stray animals that enter the property. Even if something had been heard, the family would not have checked it. They would have assumed it was an animal.
Matthew’s trailer door was simple to open. It could be opened with any flat, sturdy item – a stick, a screwdriver, a piece of metal, a nail file.
The homes are in the country. Doors are left unlocked. This is not unusual.
Ember’s playpen was situated in the open space in front of the door of the trailer. Matthew’s bed was at the opposite end of the trailer. If the door was opened, Ember could be lifted out quietly and Matthew, at the other end, would not be disturbed.
The fences have gates with simple, unsecured flip latches.
The streets are obscured with bushes and trees. A vehicle could park on the street or a side street and would be unseen and unheard by the residents of the home.
Matthew’s trailer was visible from the street. When his lights went off, someone could have ascertained that he was asleep.
Despite searches with dogs, no hint of Ember has ever been found anywhere.
Matthew’s behavior at Happy Stop was calm and normal.
The inconsistency the sheriff cites regarding Matthew is that Matthew did not recall or did not say where he went after stopping at Happy Stop. Since Matthew’s cousin saw Ember at home after the trip to Happy Stop, it is unclear why the sheriff feels that Matthew’s drive is the cornerstone of his investigation.
Law enforcement stated that Matthew did not cooperate and requested a lawyer. This seems to imply those two statements are tied together. However, Matthew requested a lawyer because he had willingly submitted to being questioned for 8 hours. Then, suddenly, Matthew found himself being accused of doing something to his daughter. Matthew also requested a lawyer because it was his constitutional right. Neither of these behaviors made Matthew uncooperative.
We believe Ember was abducted. The tips that have been submitted by the public, the strange inconsistencies, the threats, the worrisome behavior by people who knew the family and Ember have made this clearer every day. We need these tips investigated now. Someone could be moving our baby further out of reach even as you read this. With all due respect to those who have truly worked to find her, Ember needs more than just a local law enforcement team working on this case. We need a highly specialized team trained in investigating child abductions and we need them right away.
Since Matthew’s death, it has been a struggle to get a response or call back from Shasta County Sheriff’s Office to discuss this case or to report possible tips. We tried to request that this case be turned over to the FBI for investigation and were told by Sergeant Pat Kropholler “At this time the case will remain with the Sheriff’s Office as the lead investigative agency. As new information is developed, we may ask for the assistance of other local, state, or federal agencies if warranted.”
The time is now!
Ember Skye Graham has been missing for three long months! We need our baby girl back!
Jamie Tomlin Graham needs her daughter!
We need our granddaughter, niece, cousin, sister, community member – our beautiful Ember Skye – back!
Please join us by signing this petition to inform Sheriff Tom Bosenko that the time to bring in the FBI and any and all other local, state, and federal agencies to find Ember is NOW!
Please help us bring our Ember Skye home! She’s out there! Please help us find her!
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