Ariel Kouakou’s disappearance leads parents to consider GPS trackers
Police say they’ve now received more than 700 tips about Ariel Kouakou – but they still have no idea where he is.
Ten-year-old Ariel went missing nine days ago after walking to a friend’s home.
A command post at Galerie Normandie in Cartierville is still active, as are some volunteers – but it’s quiet.
Investigators remain baffled about what happened to Ariel.
“We’re trying to understand if it’s an accident, if it’s a criminal act or anything else,” saod Montreal police spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant.
The case of missing boy has touched many parents who are now questioning whether this could happen to their own children.
In the past week, Melodie Maurice’s phone has been ringing off the hook. She owns Familisecur, a company that sells GPS watches for children, able to track a child’s whereabouts.
“Since Ariel went missing, parents have been telling me they want to be able to know where their child is without giving them a cell phone, and this does the trick,” she said.
There are dozens of GPS tracker devices for children, including some that fit easily onto clothes.
Manufacturers say they could be lifesavers for children, but parenting expert Alissa Sklar cautions parents to think twice before buying one.
“I think that we really need to be careful to not give our kids the message the world is a dangerous place,” she said, adding that giving children the message that we need to constantly track them creates anxiety.
“I think we need to take a deep breath. We still don’t know what happened to this child but we live in a safe country. Montreal is a safe city,” she said. “Statistically, anything happening from a stranger who wishes to do something to do something to our kids is very rare. Our kids benefit more feeling people are out there to help them, and that they can approach someone if they need help.”