Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Arkadiy Tashman – missing son/brother/uncle/nephew

Look at the picture. What do you see?
Is he amazing and incredibly gorgeous? At least, that’s what we think. If you knew him … oh..
People who know him are absolutely in love with his intelligence, sense of humor and his …. everything.

He is a great person, and I’m not saying it just because I’m his big sister. No, we all love him.
He’s been missing for more that 1½ years and it’s just a HUGE, PAINFUL wound that still consumes our lives.
Where should I begin…
January 26, 2005 – it was a freezing cold night. Arkadiy never came back from his friend’s house.
That started our never-ending search for him.
Flyers around the city… phone numbers… calls… flyers again… visits to all of the local police stations. I was kicking and screaming for them to use search dogs and helicopters. But, the police did not care. They labeled him an “endangered run away” and left it at that.

I put the word out to all possible news papers and TV channels: NY1, WB11, CBS, Daily News, Staten Island Advance, RTVI, NTV, Brooklyn Skyline, etc., just to spread the name “Arkadiy Tashman” around. For almost a month, our family was losing sleep. We were lucky to get just 4 hours a day. The only thing that this work yielded was more pain. People would call me with prank information (they probably thought we did not suffer enough with our loss). The calls I received were humiliating, painful and evil.
Let me give you an example of the nicest ones:
“You stupid Russian b***h. You deserved it and if I was you child, I would have killed myself.”
This is the only call I returned. I had grown tough skin by that time. (I’ll let you know how I replied in a later blog)
My poor parents. They lived from call to call. They stared at me, cried out for help, asking if I had heard something, anything.
Dad did not cry, but Mom fell apart. I could not tell who was more hurt by this ordeal. We had a full schedule of search missions. They became our life’s goal.
Flyers, flyers, flyers, hundreds of them. I spent my waking hours in my car and on the cell phone. We were pros at posting flyers. We knew where flyers would be seen, where they would stay and for how long, and we would repost them as quickly as they were torn down. I had my daily routes (about 5 of them) just in Midtown.
Posting flyers can be tricky in a cold weather. You cannot wear gloves and it’s difficult to make tape stick, but the worst was posting in the freezing rain. Stepping into melting snow, having your feet wet, was all worth it. We needed leads and did not know where to go.
We visited shelters, soup kitchens, some underground hideouts and police stations. I know them all by now.
Arkadiy… Arkadiy Tashman… Every time I post a flyer, I see your face. I don’t cry anymore (at least not when posting a flyer). Though, driving alone along the NJ Turnpike is still tough. I drove this route at least 3 times a day for the first 2 months after you disappeared.
“Come back, I MISS YOU SO MUCH” – is all I’m thinking. I still look into tall, young guy’s faces, trying to spot you when I walk on the street.
A month after Arkadiy disappeared, Mom wanted to leave this world. It was unbearable for me even to think that I could let her slip out, the same way I let you. That’s when a private investigator came into our lives, SCOTT BURNSTEIN. He brought a lot of hope to us (empty hope), that’s why I think the money he sucked out of us was worth it.
Of course, we did not agree with him when months later he robbed my credit card and maxed it out (almost $10,000). It took months and an attorney, to prove to the bank that HE RAN A SCAM ON US. To all people out there: DO NOT DEAL WITH HIM. He is a vulture, praying on people’s tragedy.
My parents and I moved into the same house now. They live in an apartment downstairs. That’s how I can hear my Mom’s crying, late at night and I, too, go to the bathroom and cry.
Dad is trying to be the Strong One, though he told me once (as we were searching a park in Staten Island with a volunteer, trying to find some traces of Arkadiy) – “I feel, if I find his body here, I’ll die instantly. I’ll never survive the loss”.
Do not be misled by my references to those people out there – whose life is so miserable that to make feel them better about themselves, they make you to suffer more that you are. There are lots of great human beings out there such as: Paul Thompson from Staten Island and some of his friends and a lot of other, who were selflessly distributing posters and digging information. Paul is a volunteer, helping to find Arkadiy and he is not giving up. Let’s not forget, there is still good in people and let’s not give freaks the opportunity to obscure that fact.
Miserable freaks, do not bother to call, but all of you GOOD people out there:
Please if you see Arkadiy Tashman, call 917-842-9875 (my cell).
He has blue eyes, 6 feet 2 inches tall, 170 pounds, light grey eyes, and ashy blond hair.
Last seen(at age 17) in Staten Island, NY on January 26th, 2005.