Mom Responds to News of Daughter’s Kidnapping with Frowny-Face Emoticon

frown-emoticonWhen Megan Saunders, 17, of Stamford, Conn., failed to return home from school last Friday, her father Tom was concerned, but thought his daughter might have just gone into the city with friends. Saunders’ mother, Renee, was away for a spa weekend and Mr. Saunders didn’t want to worry her unnecessarily. By Sunday, the girl’s father feared that darker forces may be at play, so he reported his daughter missing to the local police. When he called his wife there was no answer, so he texted her: “Megan has not come home since she went to school on Friday. I’ve reported her missing to the police. Please call asap.”

His wife’s response to the call, a frowny face emoticon, prompted police to momentarily consider Mrs. Saunders a suspect. Upon investigation, however, it was determined that not only were there several witnesses to attest to Mrs. Saunders presence at Mohonk Mountain House, in New York’s Hudson Valley, but that it is common for the 50-year-old housewife and part-time freelance photographer to respond to tragic news with a frowny face. She recently posted the same emoticon on her daughter’s Facebook wall in response to a news article she posted about Hurricane Sandy victims who remained homeless months after the storm.

“My wife’s only crime is not understanding the proper usage of emoticons,” explained Mr. Saunders. “We are both extremely concerned about our daughter and my wife is beside herself with gried. In her mind, sending a frowny face is the ultimate show of concern.”

Amy Westervelt
Amy Westervelt is a freelance journalist based in Oakland, Calif. She writes about tech, health, and the environment for a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal and Forbes. In 200 ...read more

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