According to Kim

Still missing …Jaliek Rainwalker

with 17 comments

The following is from today’s Times Union.  This article is sad on many levels.  I hope someone finds Jaliek alive and soon. 

Family ties slipping before boy disappeared

Adoption of Jaliek Rainwalker, who had violent outbursts, was to end, say family, cops

GREENWICH — When Jaliek Rainwalker disappeared, his parents had already decided to undo their adoption of him, family and police confirmed Thursday.The last person to see him was his adoptive father, Stephen Kerr, who spent the night alone with him at a relative’s unoccupied home in Greenwich, those close to the case have said.

Rainwalker, 12, was prone to violent outbursts, and his four siblings were afraid of him, said Barbara Reeley, the mother of Jocelyn Kerr, Rainwalker’s adoptive mother. His serious emotional problems caused him to fly into uncontrollable rages in the five years he lived with his adoptive family in Cossayuna, Washington County, Reeley said.

On Oct. 31, Stephen Kerr picked his son up from a several-days stay at a respite home — where parents can leave emotionally troubled children for a break from constant turmoil. Rainwalker was scheduled to go to another respite home that Friday. Kerr volunteered to take Rainwalker to the empty house at 11 Hill St. in Greenwich, which is owned by Kerr’s father, Graham. The next morning, Kerr said he found Rainwalker missing but that his son had left a goodbye note, which said he no longer wanted to be a burden on his family.

The parents, both 37, already had decided to place Rainwalker in another home. But it wasn’t clear this week what legal steps they had taken to reverse the adoption or what Rainwalker knew of the plans.

“It’s true that he wasn’t happy in his home and that his parents no longer wanted him there,” said Reeley, a potter who lives in Wynantskill.

“If he hadn’t disappeared, he would have been living in another home by Thanksgiving,” Reeley said.

She said that Jocelyn Kerr had tried very hard to help Rainwalker, but a recent threat the boy made to a young child in their home-school group proved to be the last straw.

Rainwalker, his grandmother said, never adjusted to the unusual family life of the Kerrs. The family’s house has no running water, and each morning the older children take turns bringing water to the house from an outdoor well. The bathrooms are outhouses and the only electricity comes from a generator for several hours in the evening. It’s not poverty, but a desire to be ultra eco-friendly that inspired their lifestyle, Reeley said.

It was a huge adjustment from homes that Rainwalker had grown accustomed to, more mainstream households where life included regular trips to the mall and computer games.

“What my daughter and son-in-law did give him was a lot of love. There was always love and affection and hugs,” she said. But Rainwalker never seemed to accept it, she said. And combined with his existing emotional problems from years in many different foster homes, it was too much for him to handle, she said.

Greenwich-Cambridge Police Chief George Bell confirmed that family members had told investigators that they were looking for a new home for Rainwalker at the time of his disappearance. But he declined to be specific about the investigation.

He said the first priority is to find Rainwalker. Police continued their search for Rainwalker in the woods near the Battenkill Country Club in Greenwich and Easton. On Monday, police drained a pond at the country club’s golf course but turned up nothing.

Jocelyn Kerr has taken a polygraph test but Stephen Kerr has not, Bell said. He wouldn’t say what the results of Jocelyn Kerr’s test were, or why her husband has not taken one.

A prayer vigil is scheduled for 7 tonight at Mowry Park in Greenwich.


Written by Kim

November 16, 2007 at 2:25 pm

17 Responses

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  1. That is sad. And he is old enough where one may wonder if he ran away?


    November 16, 2007 at 3:39 pm

  2. Hey Kim i feel really bad for his family is there anything we can do to help this little boy… i mean i have searched behind school and everything and still nothing….nothing at all…MAKE Jaliek’s father take a poly graph please!


    November 19, 2007 at 1:30 pm

  3. I know this family and they are the most loving people anyone could ever meet. This is tragic but he definitely ran away. A major concern is that he was picked up by the wrong person after he ran away. Anyone who knows them would agree. Jaliek had an amazingly hard life and he was lucky to get to live with such caring people. He was taken away from his homeless mother at the age of four days old. By the time he was seven years old, he had been in SEVEN foster homes. Three of those families had told him that they would adopt him…and then changed their mind. Kerr and McDonald had many reasons for stopping the adoption process, including that Jaliek had threatened a younger child and that their other children were afraid of Jaliek’s violent outbursts. This is truly tragic. Despite his struggles, Jaliek’s nature is cheerful and bright. He has an amazing amount of courage and determination, and no matter where he is he reaches out to everyone around him. Please help locate this boy and pray for him along with his family and everyone who knew him.


    November 19, 2007 at 4:05 pm

  4. Hi Jill,

    Thank You for posting. I have stated before that I do not know the family. I follow a lot of missing person cases and blog about them from time to time. Since this one is so close to home I thought I would go heavier on the posts as I haven’t heard much metion of this on the local news or at all in the national news. My hope is that a national news station will happen upon Jaliek’s stroy and help get the word out.
    The first instinct is to look at the people closest to the person who is missing. It’s sad that so many victims knew the person who abducted them. This is not always the case but it does happen. I do not know the Kerr family or Stephen but from the outside looking in it does seem a bit suspicious. Everyone deals with these situations differently so we really shouldn’t judge how a person acts or reacts when interviewed but like I said, they have to start with those who knew him.
    I hope Jaliek is found safe and sound before Thanksgiving. That would be something to be greatful for.


    November 19, 2007 at 4:52 pm

  5. Jaliek has touched so many hearts and I truly hope and pray for a miracle for him and at the same time do not have much hope.

    There are too many conflicting stories and statements that we can gather from all the various places on-line. And I do not trust SK at all. Have you watched him on Tv when he speaks, it looks like fake to me and the people close to him do not trust him either. He looks like a religious fanatic to me, esp. when he talks at the vigil, he seems to think he is a preacher.

    Have you seen the mention of the police questioning religious groups in the area? and heard about the Twelve Tribes? Google it and it will scare you. I think, the parents are involved with this group and wenn SK sais, Jaliek’s threat was the last straw and that they were going to “un-adopt” him, he spoke of punishment. He left a 12 year old boy in an empty house? after a fight?, altercation it was called somewhere. That is not good.

    I also think, that they have so many children from the system to collect the money from the state and live off of that. I have heard they live in a garage-like house, two parents, five children, dogs and cats. That is a lot of beings. With this life style, the money the children brought, they could have totally lived off of that. I am really cynical and I am worried that this was a hate crime and a punishment.

    I hope the truth will come out and even more I hope for the miracle that Jaliek appears and is found and we can again see his beautiful smile and good people will give him a stabil and loving home.



    November 20, 2007 at 12:50 am

  6. I am very concerned with the pre-judging posted by at least one person from this post. I know the family-I don’t know them well enough to know if SK had anything to do with it or not, but what I do know is that there is NO evidence to suggest he is guilty of anything. The family may be a bit eccentric, but everything I know about them-they are loving. The shot about them being religious fanatics and looking weird was low. I don’t even know what religion they are-does that matter???? I also know that they truly wanted to help Jaliek, NOT collect money from it. I also have an adopted child with attachment disorder (like what Jaliek has) and I can tell you NO amount of money in the world is worth going through what we go through on a daily basis. We go through challenges that are unimaginable to most people but we still love our children with all of our hearts. I just wish the focus could remain on finding out what happened to Jaliek and bringing to light RAD (reactive attachment disorder) so families who deal with the pain of dealing with raising a RAD kid will get help instead of scorn!


    November 20, 2007 at 5:15 pm

  7. Bertha,

    What does a religious fanatic look like? Do you have any idea how bigoted your post is? Judging people by the way they look, which is what you do (according to your post), indicates that you really have no business posting an opinion on this. Why? Let me count the ways:
    1. What you said has nothing to do with J’s well being
    2. What you said perpetuates a climate of distrust among people that is akin to, dare I say it, a particular totalitarian regime (maybe the leader of such a regime has a particular kind of mustache?)
    3. The words that we utter – whether through writing them or in other ways – have power. This power can have ill effects on people, whether they deserve them or not.
    4. Your penchant for “pre-judging” (as indicated by a previous poster) is inimical to our democracy. I’m thinking of a little thing called…um…the bill of rights. Perhaps you were asleep in civics class. We still, at least on the books, have a presumption of innocence in this country.

    I could go on, but quite frankly I think it is time to turn our attention to more useful pursuits – like, um, J’s well-being.


    November 21, 2007 at 8:55 pm

  8. Antigeneralization, although I don’t agree with everything Bertha has mentioned, I agree with her suspicions regarding the Twelve Tribes, and commend her for having the courage to speak out. Since seeing Jaliek’s adopted father, Steven Kerr, in the media, I have had suspicions as to his families relationship with the Twelve Tribes (known as a cult). Mr. Kerr bares the long beard as all male Yahshua’s do, lives the meager life (aka eco-friendly) as the Yahshua’s do, his wife and children dress conservatively according to the Twelve Tribe doctrine, and home school their children as the Yahshua’s demand. Published in the media, the video of Jaliek playing the drum, appears to be a musical gathering that the Twelve Tribes are known for. Meanwhile, I keep in mind that Jaliek’s home in Cossayuna for the last few years is only 15 minutes away from the Cambridge Twelve Tribes location, and the Rutland, VT Twelve Tribes is located an hour away from the Rupert, VT area where the Kerr’s are known to camp at. Considering all of the above, this most certainly does have everything to do with Jaliek’s well being. Everyone is a suspect until the facts have been gathered. Even if the Kerr family is not that involved with the Twelve Tribes, they have been involved in too many scandels regarding the mistreatment of children not to question and wonder. If not for Bertha, and others who care about Jaliek, Jaliek has no voice. Below is a link written by the Boston Herald worth reading. It gave me chills when I read it. We love you Jaliek.

    Jaliek's Former Foster Mother

    December 6, 2007 at 12:29 am

  9. Jaliek’s Former Foster Mother,

    I read the article that you included in your comment. I didn’t know about Twelve Tribes, I think I missed it when Bertha mentioned it in her comment (in my defense I’ve been sick for weeks with pneumonia). Is this Kevin Coughlin still active in helping teens escape? I wonder if anyone (LE) has contacted him in relation to Jaliek’s disappearance. That would be the best hope that I can see right now that Jaliek would be alive. I hate to say that but even LE is talking recovery.


    December 6, 2007 at 1:17 pm

  10. Yes, early on I saw the reports mentioning the police asking area religious groups and that name appearing. When I listend to S.Kerr making his tearful plea in one of the first short video clips, he talked in a “old” kind of way. Which two and two put together, got me searching on google and finding Wikipedia entry about this group. I felt some of these could eerily apply:

    – Their faith teaches that women are to be subservient to their husbands

    – The group first aroused controversy because of their alleged child abuse (including corporal punishment, and the use of child labor in their cottage industries).

    – However, the group does admit that it uses corporal punishment, spanking children with a “small reed-like rod”[12] and that the “children help their parents” in their cottage industries.

    – A report from The Guardian accuses the Twelve Tribes of being racist and anti-Semitic.

    Watching the newest video of the interview with S. Kerr and his wife, I do not see him looking straight into the camera or the interviewer and having some temper raising with simple questions. Again, they are telling some of the details in a different way then before.

    I am sensitized to the race issue here, that is what has raised my suspicion in the first place.


    December 7, 2007 at 8:32 pm

  11. Knowing this couple relatively well, I have to say that the last interview with Stephen and Jocelyn speaks clearly of what they are going through. Here is a couple who at one point during the search for their son decided to take the high road from all the malicious skepticism they have endured by keeping quiet with the inner workings of how they run their lives. If you had been mistreated (and threatened) at the hands of the police, had your mother-in-law speak out against you along with the general mistrust of the public, knowing full well how little chance your son had in a world like ours, and STILL not have found your son, wouldn’t you have feelings of anger that would rise up with certain trigger questions or words? I think both parents handled the interview in a mature way: in as mature of a way as any self-respecting responsible-for-his/her-own-actions adult could handle these things in the face of such a crisis.
    To address the comments about the Twelve Tribes…
    Knowing this couple is knowing that Jocelyn is FAR from subservient.
    Discipline is dolled out by sitting cross-legged and facing a wall to ‘gain peace and strength’. All of the children in this family have intelligence and intuition far exceeding their years (and seemingly more so than most adults in this society).
    Why in the world would a couple who were part of a racist group adopt a boy of bi-racial background? I suppose for some kind of sacrificial prophecy or something? If Wiki says so, then it must be true.
    To know this family is to know what true unconditional intelligent love is.
    I think the old adage of walking a mile in a man’s shoes applies here. Let’s use it.

    anti-gen's wife

    December 9, 2007 at 10:47 pm

  12. I feel so sad about jaliek .even though i didnt know him personally ,i feel as thought i do.Myself also given up at birth ,and been in foster home after foster home,never having a sense of cause me emotional issues also.There is so much going on in the media and i care not to comment about or speculate anything. I truly believe that only someone that has experienced what jaliek is going through can realy relate to him and help him and thats what i think he needs.My hope is just that jaliek gets found safe.And find a loving home with someone who understands what he’s going through and help him through it.You have a new friend jaliek.My prayers are with you.


    December 23, 2007 at 8:15 pm

  13. Thank You Valerie for your comment.

    I’m sure being moved from home to home isn’t easy on a child. It’s no wonder Jaliek suffers from attachment disorder. We are all praying for Jaliek’s safe return, that is priority #1. The media is needed, good, bad or indifferent, to get the word out. I know not everyone agrees with what is being said one way or the other but the more people who are aware of Jaliek the greater the chances are of finding him.

    I’m sure he will be happy to know he has another new friend. Thank you for your courage of telling your story. I hope you have a wonderful holiday!



    December 24, 2007 at 8:59 am

  14. Kim,
    I would be very interested to find out who, Antigeneralization is, and anti-gen’s wife is. Maybe something for the police to look into. Trying to find a way to peg down insight to Jaliek’s case. Sorry if I have put you on the spot regarding your blog and privacy. Just a thought. Joy

    Jaliek's Former Foster Mother

    February 20, 2008 at 3:48 am

  15. Hey, this is really sad!!…. i think that little boy is kind of like i was. Do you think he had an Attachment Disorder(it’s not bad). Like i have it and im not close to my adoptive family and i was adopted from a foreign country where my real mom was pretty bad…. All i think that little boy needed was what you gave him, but i think you should never have given up and put him in those respite homes or said you were going to UN-adopt him, because for a child to be adopted so old(like i was myself), and because of having some problems at home, nobody should ever have to tell their kid(or even let them hear) that they “don’t want them”, or whatever… sorry about Jaliek, i truly am!!! i really hope you guys find him and things turn out well(if you haven’t already found him)…..


    December 23, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    • Hi Short-ay,
      Jaliek’s story is a sad one. I never met the boy but have been following his story and wish that he was found. He is still missing and the searches continue. His adoptive parents haven’t been doing much to find him but thankfully there are others who are. In time we have faith that he will be found.


      December 23, 2008 at 2:14 pm

  16. yeah, it is sad:( i never met this boy either but i guess he used to live near me. i lived in Mechanicville…..i wish he was found, in a good home, and the important thing-happy!!!!….it makes me sad how he isn’t found yet and it’s been like a year-2007???…..he kinda reminds me of me!…..


    December 23, 2008 at 3:03 pm

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