No safe places in this world

The murder of a 9-year-old girl sends a shiver of fear through the community, a tragedy that touches us all.

Parents in South Lake Tahoe, Carson City and the entire area naturally react by asking in anguish, "Is no place safe?"

The truth is, unfortunately, that no place is immune from the terrors of the world. But there is a second tragedy in the death of Krystal Steadman.

The suspect in the kidnapping and murder is 19-year-old Thomas Robert Soria, who worked part-time for the Lake Tahoe Boys & Girls Club.

It's not clear yet how involved Soria was with the club. Nevertheless, his arrest taints an organization that is among the finest nationally and the most conscientious locally in helping children.

The Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada, located in Carson City, remains one of the safest places that children can possibly be. Know that the people who work there and those who support the club - perhaps the broadest base of support of any organization in Carson City - have nothing but the best interests of the children in their minds and hearts.

Just as it is true that no place can be entirely safe, so is it possible for someone with hurtful intent to make their way into any group. The Boys & Girls Club does background checks, and that screens out someone who has been caught before.

In the case of Soria, we have been told, there was no criminal record other than a bad-check charge in California. The picture may be clearer as more investigation is done and more is known about the suspect, but at this point there is no indication that the Lake Tahoe Boys & Girls Club knew anything in advance that would indicate children could be at risk.

Parents should do all they can to protect their children, of course - check out the places where they will be spending time, and get to know the people who will be trusted to oversee them.

While such preventative steps may not be foolproof, there should also be some measure of reassurance in the fact that witnesses alertly turned over crucial information, and deputies in Douglas County were able to make an arrest quickly in this disturbing case.


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