According to Kim

Anonymous Letter About Jaliek

with 16 comments

Letter deepens missing youth mystery

Anonymous note sent to area news outlets claims Jaliek Rainwalker is alive
GREENWICH — A letter purportedly written by missing 12-year-old Jaliek Rainwalker or by someone who knows where he is claims the youngster is still alive.
The anonymous note, with a Westchester County postmark, was sent to several area newspapers and television stations.Although there is no proof that the letter is authentic, police are treating it as a lead. Authorities have been searching for the youth since shortly after his Nov. 1 disappearance and have been frustrated by a lack of progress.

“We are treating this seriously and consider the letter potential evidence,” said Greenwich-Cambridge Police Chief George Bell, who is leading the search.

He said every media outlet that received copies of the note turned over the originals to police, who are checking them for fingerprints. The Times Union did not receive a copy of the letter, but its wording was confirmed by police.

It said, “Jaliek still alive. Needed a foot soldier for this war on drugs. Picked him up Rt 40 Post 30. He’s ok. No fake. He says asks his Mama and Papa/Who are the macaronni (sic) family? My cat name diamond? Why does Franti yell fire? Don’t try to look we are not there.”

Elaine Person, a former foster mother to Rainwalker and one of several former caregivers who have worked to keep Rainwalker’s name in the headlines, called the letter “a sick prank.”

“It was written by someone who knows something about his family. Jaliek does have a cat named Diamond, but a lot of people could have known that,” Person said.

The wording of the letter doesn’t make sense to her: It shifts from the third person in the beginning, as if written by someone else, to the first person at the end, as if Rainwalker had written it. Jaliek, she said, wouldn’t have written that way. “He is very intelligent. This was written by someone who wasn’t so intelligent,” she said.

“This was written by someone who is either just sick or wants to make the police scramble,” she said.

Stephen Kerr, Rainwalker’s adoptive father, has publicly said he believes Jaliek is alive. Kerr’s theory is that Rainwalker, who is biracial and interested in black culture, is living secretly with a black family in Albany or Troy. Authorities have called that theory groundless and have focused on searching for Rainwalker’s body in woods near Greenwich, Washington County. Rainwalker lived with Kerr, his adoptive mother Jocelyn McDonald, and four siblings in a rustic home in Cossayuna.

Kerr did not return a call Thursday seeking comment.

Police have called Kerr a “person of interest” in Rainwalker’s disappearance and have publicly complained that he has not been cooperative in the investigation. There is not enough evidence to charge anyone with a crime, police said.

Local police and investigators from the FBI, State Police and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have followed leads throughout the Capital Region but have found no sign of Rainwalker.

Kerr is the last person known to have seen Rainwalker. On the night of Nov. 1, the two stayed alone at a house in Greenwich owned by Kerr’s father. Rainwalker’s relationship with his adoptive family was volatile, relatives and police said. Kerr and McDonald were moving to undo their adoption of Rainwalker at the time of his disappearance because of frequent emotional outbursts. The last straw, relatives said, was a threat Rainwalker directed at a 4-year-old in his home-school group.


Written by Kim

February 1, 2008 at 9:48 am

16 Responses

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  1. Why hasn’t this captured National attention. We have missing Holloway, the girl on the west coast that recently disappeared, the Marine etc. This is a 12 yr old little boy who lived in horrific conditions for this day and age. Someone needs to bring this to the attention of a national broadcast. Then maybe, some prime time attention would help find Jaliek if this letter is true. The whole thing is weird and just doesn’t line up…..


    February 1, 2008 at 10:01 pm

  2. Hi Dede and thank you for your comment. Belive me when I say that many people have been trying to get Jaliek’s story National attention, myself included. The closest we’ve come was a mention on GretaWire a while back but nothing ever came of it. I’ve sent tips to her tip box, I’ve written letters, I don’t know what else to do at this point other than keeping this story going on blogs. You will also find Jaliek’s story on the InSession message boards, it’s the old CourtTV site. If you would like to help you could start sending emails to the National media outlets. The more email they get the higher the chances of getting Jaliek’s stroy the National attention it deserves. Oh and also Nancy Grace, I’ve tried her several times too 🙂


    February 2, 2008 at 9:56 am

  3. Hi Kim…Since it is a Westchester County posting address could the police monitor Kerr’s comings and goings and possibly EZ pass records and/or cameras at thruway toll passes to see if he drove downstate to drop of some “mail”?? I have a sneaking suspicion that he wrote this…

    When will he brought to justice??


    February 2, 2008 at 12:02 pm

  4. Hi Amelia,

    Yes, I would think LE could track Kerr’s activity through EZ pass if he has one. Judging by the way he chose to live I’m not sure how much he favors technology. However, I’m sure he’s been online and reads up on all that is said about him.


    February 2, 2008 at 3:12 pm

  5. I dont understand the maternal grandparents at all. Obviously they wanted nothing to do with Jaliek or they would have cared for him. IMO I think that they are just acting like the concerned grandparents. They knew what kind of environment their grandson was living in. If he were my grandson I would have gotten him the heck out of there a long time ago. Im wondering if they sent the letter.


    February 2, 2008 at 7:19 pm

  6. Any chance that Jaliek is with his real mother?


    February 2, 2008 at 7:23 pm

  7. Hi Alice,

    I’m not sure if you have the story a little mixed up, if you do I can understand why. Jaliek’s maternal grandparents are actually his Adoptive maternal grandparents. Barbara Reeley is Jocelyn McDonald’s mother, Jocelyn is Jaliek’s adoptive mother. I have met Barbara and her husband and would never believe that either one would have or could have written that letter.

    As for Jaliek being with his real mom. All I know is that he was taken from her when he was 2 weeks old. I’m not sure that they have ever had contact. Also, I’m sure LE have gone down that road if they thought it was a possibility.

    Thank you for your comment!


    February 2, 2008 at 7:51 pm

  8. None of the articles Ive read said that the grandparents were the adoptive grandparents. Thanks for clarifying. I thought that Jalieks real mother was their daughter. The more I read about Jaliek the more heartbreaking this becomes. Ive raised two children to adults. Kids say and do inappropriate things but that doesnt mean they are bad kids. Both my kids are ADHD and Ive had to go to meetings at schools plenty of times for misbehaviors. They eventually got past all that with a lot of patience. It takes is a lot of love and patience to raise a child. Im wondering if Oprah would like to know about Jaliek.


    February 2, 2008 at 8:11 pm

  9. Alice, actually Oprah would be fantastic or Montel!, anyone who has media connections could really help with this. Lets all work on it together.
    Peace and prayers for Jaliek


    February 2, 2008 at 9:32 pm

  10. Hi Alice,

    I’m glad I could clear that up for you. Even kids without problems are difficult to handle at times. You’re right, it does take a lot of patience, understanding and love. I’m sure Oprah would love to hear Jaliek’s story and I think some have emailed her as well. The only thing is, I don’t know how far our emails get once they’re submitted. I’m sure they are all read but someone has to determine what is news worthy and what isn’t. That’s why I’m thinking if we all come together on the same day, maybe our voices will be heard.

    Thank you for following Jaliek’s story!


    February 2, 2008 at 9:54 pm

  11. Hi Bertha!

    Yes, anyone who has media connections …we need to reach out to as many as possible. I know you have written emails before and I know we can count on you to continue the push for National attention.


    February 2, 2008 at 9:55 pm

  12. Alice,
    Kim cleared it up regarding Jaliek’s maternal grandparents, but I wanted to add that the grandparents offered to take Jaliek, and they were told by Jocelyn, “no, because he would have too much fun with you,” Jocelyns words to her mother Jaliek’s adoptive grandmother.

  13. i have also posted this comment on missingchild.wordpress.

    i know stephen kerr. i felt great sympathy for the family, at first. i know that stephen is idealistic and good hearted. but i also know he is arrogant and hot headed, and that he thinks he is smarter than most everyone else. and in his behavior these past months, i see signs that he is not telling the full story of what happened that night. i do not think he killed jaliek. but i do think it is highly possible he let him out of the van, on rt. 40 perhaps–where the anonymous letter says jaliek was picked up–hoping to teach jaliek a lesson.

    i think a battle of angry wills went on in that van that night. stephen does not like to be challenged, especially when he thinks he is doing you a favor. and he must be smart enough to know that letting your minor child out of the car onto a state highway at night is tantamount to a charge of criminal neglect or endangerment. at the very least.

    his continued arrogance and attitude of offended dignity tells me he is upset that his lies are not fooling everyone, and yet, sadly there is not enough physical evidence to level charges against him.

    he came into my workplace and told my employer– a man he knows only very superficially–some very hostile and offensive things about jaliek, things an angry man would say. not things a concerned parent would say about their missing child.

    Rose Finch

    February 5, 2008 at 8:59 am

  14. Hello Rose and thank you for your comment. It is important for the public to get different perspectives of those involved in this case. The note that was sent to the media very well could hold clues as to what happened that night. If that’s the case, and let me state that this is IMO JMO, then I would say that Kerr was behind the writing of said note. He’s the only one who knows what happened that night, and Jaliek but he is not here to tell his side of the story. The description that you give of Stephen is exactly what he displayed in his interview with News Channel 10, arrogant and all knowing, followed with anger at times.

    We hold on to the hope that Jaliek is still alive. Maybe he was dropped off on Rt 40 and is being held by someone or maybe he met with foul play, Kerr might not have committed the act but he would be responsible for what happened. It all comes down to what Kerr knows and he is not willing to give that information up.


    February 5, 2008 at 9:52 am

  15. honestly, when jaliek first went missing, and i saw stephen on the local tv news, i thought he was faking his emotions. but then, i thought to myself, how would i be if my child were missing and someone had a camera in my face? but as time has gone on and stephen had behaved so aggressively and seemingly uncaringly, i have begun to trust that first gut response i had back in november.

    jaliek is a beautiful boy, he is someone you do not forget after meeting him. i saw him 2 weeks before he went missing, my daughter and i ran into stephen and 3 of the kids at the supermarket. i told jaliek how big he’d gotten (that silly thing we grown ups always say to kids) and told him he was looking good.

    when stephen visited my workplace, i was not there. but he told my employer, who does not know stephen, that jaliek was probably turning tricks somewhere. nice, eh?

    Rose Finch

    February 5, 2008 at 5:55 pm

  16. It’s kind of sad that this boy has been missing for a while, under very suspicious circumstances, but then his story fades away. He’s been missing for what, 2 years? Not to be offensive or rude, but Nancy Grace sits there every night talking about “tot mom” and her daughter, but doesn’t talk about Rainwalker? I know what happened to that little girl is sad, but lets face it, everyone knows her mom killed her, lets just let the poor girl rest in peace and try to focus a bit more on kids who have a pretty good chance of being alive. I think people [investigators;police] aren’t putting forth enough effort to find him.


    April 6, 2009 at 1:41 pm

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