Posts tagged ‘Kidnapped Victim’

The Unsolved Murder of Sylena Jo Dalton And The Kidnapping Of Her 2 Month Old Infant Still Unsolved

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Photo of Baby Allyson taken in 1998 as a newborn

Allyson Dalton has been missing since the morning of July 27, 1998 when she was just an infant. Her mother, 20-year-old Sylena Jo Dalton, was murdered at their second-floor apartment on 175 South Charles Street, Apartment B-8, Strasburg, Virginia and Allyson was kidnapped at the scene.

Both Sylena and Allyson were last seen alive by a family member at 7:45 AM but when a co-worker arrived at the apartment later that afternoon she came upon Sylena’s body on the couch. She had been stabbed to death and 2 month old Allyson, along with several baby bottles, were nowhere to be found.

Neighbors stated they heard no screams or disturbances.

Authorities believe both the murder and abduction took place between 9:15am – 10:30 am.

In 2001 Sylena’s mother filed a wrongful death suit against her daughter’s former boyfriend, Daniel E. Pompell, seeking $1.5 million in damages. She claims that Pompell killed Sylena and kidnapped Allyson. It is unknown if she was successful in the suit. At the time of the murder Sylena had listed Pompell as the baby’s “probable father” on paperwork filed with the state Division of Child Support Enforcement, according to a warrant filed in Fauquier County. The warrant also stated that he was at Dalton’s apartment “at the approximate time of her death” and “angry about the possibility of additional financial obligations on him if paternity of the child was proven”.

Police did search the Warrenton home of Pompell, then 29, but found no sign of Allyson and no evidence that would point to him.

The murder weapon has never been located and baby Allyson, who would be a teenager today, remains missing.

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The photo to the left is a composite sketch showing what Allyson may look at 12 years old.

Classified: Non-Family Abduction
Full Name: Allyson Kathleen Dalton
Missing From: Strasburg, VA
Date of Birth: May 17, 1998
Date of Disappearance: 7/27/98
Age Then: 2 months Age Now: 15
Missing From: Strasburg, VA
Sex: Female Race: White
Hair: Brown Eye: Blue
Height: 1’8″ Weight: 8 lbs
NCMEC Case#: 850707

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to please contact:
Virginia State Police 540-829-7766
And/Or Virginia State Police – Bureau of Criminal Investigations 1-800-572-2260
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children 1-800-THE-LOST

Three women who have been missing for a decade, found ALIVE just a few miles from where they lived (HUFFINGTONPOST)

a-CLEVELAND-GIRLS-404x304CLEVELAND — Two women who went missing as teenagers about a decade ago were found alive Monday in a residential area just south of downtown, within a few miles of where they disappeared.

Cheering crowds gathered Monday night on the street near the home where police said Amanda Berry (pictured left) Gina DeJesus (pictured right) and a third woman were found earlier in the day. The identity of the third woman hadn’t been confirmed.

Police didn’t immediately provide any details of how the women were found or what conditions they were in.

Berry disappeared at age 16 on April 21, 2003, when she called her sister to say she was getting a ride home from her job at a Burger King. DeJesus went missing at age 14 on her way home from school about a year later.

In January, a prison inmate was sentenced to 4 1/2 years after admitting he provided a false burial tip in the disappearance of Berry, who had last been seen the day before her 17th birthday. A judge in Cleveland sentenced Robert Wolford on his guilty plea to obstruction of justice, making a false report and making a false alarm.

Last summer, Wolford tipped authorities to look for Berry’s remains in a Cleveland lot. He was taken to the location, which was dug up with backhoes.

Berry’s mother, Louwana Miller, who had been hospitalized for months with pancreatitis and other ailments, died in March 2006. She had spent the previous three years looking for her daughter, whose disappearance took a toll as her health steadily deteriorated, family and friends said.

Two men arrested for questioning in the disappearance of DeJesus in 2004 were released from the city jail in 2006 after officers did not find her body during a search of the men’s house.

One of the men was transferred to the Cuyahoga County Jail on unrelated charges, while the other was allowed to go free, police said.

In September 2006, police acting on a tip tore up the concrete floor of the garage and used a cadaver dog to search unsuccessfully for DeJesus’ body. Investigators confiscated 19 pieces of evidence during their search but declined to comment on the significance of the items then.

No Amber Alert was issued the day DeJesus failed to return home from school in April 2004 because no one witnessed her abduction. The lack of an Amber Alert angered her father, Felix DeJesus, who said in 2006 he believed the public will listen even if the alerts become routine.

“The Amber Alert should work for any missing child,” Felix DeJesus said then. “It doesn’t have to be an abduction. Whether it’s an abduction or a runaway, a child needs to be found. We need to change this law.”

Cleveland police said then that the alerts must be reserved for cases in which danger is imminent and the public can be of help in locating the suspect and child.

Source of article: Huffington Post

Updated articles on case:

Chilling video captures the moment cops raided the home of Cleveland ‘kidnapper’ to free captors

Hi grandpa, it’s Mandy – do you still have my car? First words of kidnap victim to her grandfather after being released from Cleveland house of horrors

‘I would have reported him – brother or no brother’ – Ariel Castro’s brothers break their silence after to insist they knew nothing about female prisoners in home

Kidnap victim Michelle Knight is deaf in one ear and will need facial reconstruction surgery after years of brutal beatings at the hands of her captor

A Kidnapping Survivor’s Story

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Photo of Sarah Maynard

Interview occurred in February 2011. Less than 4 months after the abduction of Sarah Maynard and the murders of her mother, brother and family friend. — Source: Today

Lying there on a makeshift bed of leaves in a murderer’s basement, Sarah Maynard, then 13, had seen and endured an unimaginable horror. A stranger had burst into her home in November 2010 and stabbed to death Sarah’s mother, her 11-year-old brother and a family friend, then kidnapped Maynard and kept her for four days as his prisoner and the victim of his sexual assaults. And yet, through it all, the courageous young girl never gave up hope that she would be rescued.

In an exclusive interview Maynard told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira that she’s speaking out now because she “wanted to let people know how I could survive what he did to me.” Despite everything, she still is “making my life go on, and not thinking about the past.”

Sarah Maynard’s father, Larry, appeared in the studio along with his daughter. “It’s still a nightmare every day,” he told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira.

Maynard’s father, Larry, also appeared in the studio with his daughter. “It’s still a nightmare every day knowing that part of our family is not with us,” he said.

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Photo of Larry Maynard and his daughter Sarah on the Today’s Show which aired in Feb 2011.

The horrific chain of events that led to the murders and Maynard’s kidnapping began on the night of November 9, 2010 when 30-year-old Matthew Hoffman, a tree trimmer by trade who had recently lost his job, began staking out the house where Sarah, her young brother Kody, and her mother Tina Hermann lived. He spent the night in a sleeping bag across the street from the family home. And though Hoffman would later claim that he intended only to rob the house, he carried with him a knife that he had recently purchased online.

Larry Maynard told Vieira that he does not believe this was just a burglary gone bad. “A thief steals, and a murderer kills,” he said. “If he was there to burglarize the home, why did he stake it out the way he did, why did he purchase a knife online a week prior?”

Gruesome home invasion
It was a little after dawn on the morning of Nov. 10, 2010 when he burst into the Maynard family home. He stayed for about an hour, basking in what he later told authorities was the “excitement” of breaking into someone’s home, when Hermann returned home. He attacked her, knocking her unconscious, he told authorities. After family friend Stephanie Sprang, a 41-year-old mother of three, entered the house, he stabbed both women to death. Hoffman then turned on the family dog, killing it as well. He was loading the bodies into the back of a car when Sarah and Kody came home. “I stabbed the boy in the chest a couple of times,” the killer later told authorities. “I ran into the bedroom after the girl to make sure she was not on the phone for help … I saw the girl was not on the phone, and I could not bring myself to kill her.”

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Far left; Sarah Maynard (Survivor) – Center Left; Sarah’s brother, Kody Maynard (Victim) – Center Right; Mother, Tina Herrmann (Victim) Far Right; Stephanie Sprang (Victim)

He had something else in mind for her. He dragged her to his home — a bizarre lair filled with hundreds of bags of leaves, marked with weird, childish scrawling on the door, dead squirrels stashed away in his freezer — and kept her captive in his basement.

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Sarah was forced to sleep in a makeshift bed of leaves (pictured) in Hoffman’s filthy basement. “He said he wanted to make my bed comfortable so he just put leaves there,” Maynard recalled.

Hoffman tied her up on a bed of leaves and sexually assaulted her, repeatedly. He never let her up, even to shower, Maynard told Vieira. “I just listened to everything he told me to do … just hoping that someone would find me so I wouldn’t have to live with him again.”
It took four days before authorities got a break. A witness told them about a strange man who had purchased a tarp at a local hardware store, and authorities traced him to his basement in Mount Vernon, Ohio, where they found Maynard bound and gagged.

Coping with grief
It was only after she was rescued that the full scope of the horror the family had suffered became clear. At first, Hoffman refused to talk, but when prosecutors promised that he would not face the death penalty, he admitting to killing the two women and the boy, and then he led the investigators to a hollow tree in a remote area where he had stuffed their dismembered bodies.

Even then, Hoffman tried to excuse his savagery, telling authorities that he had made hamburgers for the sole surviving victim of his bloodlust. “I think he was just trying to say that … to make people think that he felt good about himself,” Sarah Maynard said, “to say that he fed me, and he didn’t.”

Hoffman has been sentenced to life without parole.

In the months since, Maynard has been seeing a grief counselor, and with her father, she has established a nonprofit organization, Healing Hearts, to help other victims of violent crimes. She chokes up when she speaks of her mother and brother. “She took really good care of us, made sure we had food, heat and clothes,” she said, her voice trembling slightly. “And Kody, he was just a really good brother, even though we fought a lot.”

But despite her ordeal, she still found the strength to pen a letter that was read aloud at Hoffman’s sentencing. “I wanted to tell him that I was not scared of him. I just wanted to live my life,” she told Vieira.

And that courage and devotion to life is what makes Sarah a heroine, her father said. “She’s even an inspiration to me,” he said. “As her father I’m supposed to be the teacher … I think she’s taught me far more than I could probably ever teach her about life.”

For more information about the Healing Hearts Memorial fund, which aims to provide grants and assistance to survivors and victims of violent crimes, click here.

Bell County Child Kidnapped In 1985 Two Blocks Away From Her Home

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Above photo was taken within one year of Angelica Gandara’s disappearance — Below photo is a age-progression of what Angelica might look like at 33. She turned 39 several days ago.

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Classification: Non-Family Abduction

  • Full Name: Angelica Maria Gandara
  • Birthdate: February 5, 1974
  • Missing Date: July 14, 1985
  • Last Seen In: Temple, Bell County, TX
  • Age at Disappearance: 11 years old
  • Age Now: 39 years old
  • Race/Gender: Hispanic Female
  • Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 4’10” tall, 85 pounds
  • Hair/Eyes: Black hair; brown eyes.
  • Marks, Scars: Mole on her nose
  • Clothing: Last seen wearing a black and white short sleeve pullover shirt with the word “Sasson” printed on the front, black shorts, white socks and white shoes.

On July 14, 1985, after visiting her grandmother, Angelica headed to her home in Temple, TX, on foot. The walk was only two blocks away from her house and it was something she had done numerous times before.

She never made it home.

Angelica was allegedly seen in a 1977 Chevrolet pickup truck with an unidentified white male and female. The pickup’s hood, front fender and bed were red and white in color, the doors were blue and white, and the top was white. The pickup was dented, dirty and unkept. She hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

In 2007,  over 22 years after Angelica disappeared, authorities named serial killer David E. Penton as a possible suspect in her case, as well as several other missing girls. He has been serving a prison sentence in Texas since 1987 and allegedly signed a plea deal admitting responsibility for three missing girls from Texas. He didn’t admit to the kidnapping of Angelica however.

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Mugshot of David Penton

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David Penton kidnapped and murdered 5-year-old Christi Lynn Meek (pictured) as she played outside an apartment complex in Mesquite where she lived with her mother.

Another suspect, Ramiro R. Ibarra is another possible suspect. In 1997, he was convicted and sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a 16-year-old from Waco, Texas. He was an acquaintance of the victim’s family and broke into their home and committed the crime.

Other witnesses claimed to have seen Angelica in San Antonio, TX but those claims are unconfirmed.

As of 2013,  the whereabouts of Angelica Gandara remains unknown.

If you have any information regarding this cold case you’re asked to please contact:

Temple Police Department 1-254-298-5500
Texas Department of Public Safety, Missing Persons Clearinghouse
PO Box 4087, Austin, Texas 78773-0450; or by phone at 512-424-5074 or 1-800-346-3243

Agency Case Number: 08503877
NCMEC #: NCMC601422
The Doe Network: Case File 92DFTX

DAILYMAIL UPDATE; Gunman dead and boy hostage ALIVE after FBI agents storm bunker after ‘fearing for imminent safety of Ethan’

02/04/13, ALABAMA –

  • Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, allegedly stormed a school bus when it stopped to let off students and said he had to take two children hostage
  • Dykes is reportedly dead, but it is not known whether he was killed by police or committed suicide
  • Dykes held the six-year-old, known only as Ethan, in his homemade bunker for almost one week

Link to full article below..

Mugshot: Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, the suspect in the standoff, is believed to be deadJimmy Lee Dykes, 65, the suspect in the standoff, is believed to be dead

Saved: The boy, known only as Ethan, is believed to be ok after he was rescued from the bunker by FBI agents

The boy, known only as Ethan, is believed to be ok after he was rescued from the bunker by FBI agents

Hero: Murdered bus driver Charles Poland Jr, 66, was hailed as a hero for trying to stop the abduction of the children from his school bus. His wife said he loved all of the students he drove

Murdered bus driver Charles Poland Jr, 66, was hailed as a hero for trying to stop the abduction of the children from his school bus. His wife said he loved all of the students he drove

Long wait: Police say Jimmy Lee Dykes likely had supplies in his shelter to last weeks or months. He had previously spent eight days in the bunkerPolice say Jimmy Lee Dykes likely had supplies in his shelter to last weeks or months. He had previously spent eight days in the bunker

Click here for full updated article published by Dailymail

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01/30/13, ALABAMA — SWAT team in 24-hour siege as crazed gunman holds boy, 6, hostage in bunker after abducting him from school bus and shooting dead driver

  • Alabama State Police along with the FBI and bomb squads are involved in the stand-off of a gunman who murdered an Alabama school bus driver before kidnapping a child
  • Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, allegedly stormed a school bus when it stopped to let off students and said he had to take two children hostage
  • When driver Charles Poland Jr, 66, tried to stop Dykes, the gunman allegedly opened fire and killed him
  • Dykes took a an autistic boy, 6, with him and retreated to a makeshift bunker he dug in the ground
  • Boy is watching TV and has received medications through a PVC pipe that sticks out of the ground and runs into the fortified hovel
  • The standoff is taking place outside Midland City, Alabama, which is a rural town in the deep southeast of the state, near the Florida border

Link to full article by MailOnline below

Out in force: Dozens of local police officers, Alabama State Police troopers and federal agents from the ATF and FBI swarmed the area where the boy was being held captiveOut in force: Dozens of local police officers, Alabama State Police troopers and federal agents from the ATF and FBI swarmed the area where the boy was being held captive
Gearing up: A bomb squad unit is also on hand to deal with any possible explosive devices in the roadGearing up: A bomb squad unit is also on hand to deal with any possible explosive devices in the bunker
Panic: A suspect, identified as Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, allegedly held up a school bus Tuesday in Midland City, Alabama, shooting dead the bus driver and taking a boy hostagePanic: A suspect, identified as Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, allegedly held up a school bus Tuesday in Midland City, Alabama, shooting dead the bus driver and taking a boy hostage
Witness: This student said the gunman ranted about needing a 'child' to 'get the law off his back' - likely a reference to his court appearance that was scheduled for todayWitness: This student said the gunman ranted about needing a ‘child’ to ‘get the law off his back’ – likely a reference to his court appearance that was scheduled for today
Safe: Parents hugged their children tightly after the ordeal on the bus. Witnesses say the gunman was looking for a hostage because of his legal troubleSafe: Parents hugged their children tightly after the ordeal on the bus. Witnesses say the gunman was looking for a hostage because of his legal troubleClick here for full article published by Dailymail

DC Baby Kidnapped 30 Years Ago Still Missing Today

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Above is a photo of April Nicole Williams as a newborn – below is a age-progressed photo of what April may look like at 27 years of age.

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April Williams was born August 17, 1983 in Washington D.C., Baby April was 3 months old when she was kidnapped on December 3, 1983 by an unknown female. She hasn’t been seen or heard from since, nor has her abductor been identified and brought to justice.

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An artist drew a composite sketch based on the description of the unknown abductor. Keep in mind that the description is based on what the kidnapper looked like in 1983, and she may look entirely different now that she’s 30 years older so it’s important to try an focus on certain facial features including the eyes, shape of face, nose, etc. A very good identifying factor is the mole (or birthmark) witnesses said they seen on the woman’s right cheek. She is described as a black female who had reddish hair (at the time), about 5’3” – 5’4”, weight unknown (although she is described as thinner rather than heavy.)

According to police she may have gone by the name “Latoya”, although it may have been a street name or an alias.

Strangers, esp females, who abduct babies are typically rare. When it does happen many speculate that the unknown woman could have fertility issues and may have kidnapped the child to raise as her own. This gives more hope to one day finding April Williams alive. April would be turning 30 this year and could be a mother herself, not realizing the ‘mother’ who raised her was actually a criminal who kidnapped her.

Baby April was last seen wearing a blue sleeper with a red number one along with a pink and white snowsuit. She has a birthmark on her right wrist.

Case Type: Non Family Abduction
DOB: Aug 17, 1983 Sex: Female
Missing Date: Dec 3, 1983 Race: Black
Age Now: 29 Height: 2’0″ (61 cm)
Missing City: WASHINGTON Weight: 11 lbs (5 kg)
Missing State : DC Hair Color: Black
Missing Country: United States Eye Color: Brown
Case Number: NCMC708557

A Facebook page called Are you the kidnapped April Williams? was created and has only gained 98 ‘likes’ despite millions of Facebook users on the internet daily. The abductor could have kidnapped April to raise her as her own child. She would be 30 years old this year and may be a mother herself, not realizing she is a kidnapped victim.

Anyone with information regarding this cold case is asked to please contact:

Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department at 202-727-9099

Or leave a tip with:

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST)

Kidnapped Teen tells of her horrific ordeal after she was snatched at the mall by stranger and held at gunpoint for two days before escaping

PUBLISHED: 11:05 EST, 27 January 2013 | UPDATED: 13:29 EST, 27 January 2013 by MailOnline – Dailymail.co.uk

A teenage girl missing for two days alerted authorities to come and rescued her after sneaking a Facebook message to her mom, before escaping in the night when her alleged kidnapper fell asleep.

The 16-year-old Johnstown,Colorado, resident said that she had been walking through a local supermarket’s parking lot on Tuesday when 38-year-old David Calderon asked her for a lighter, before bundling her into his car.

Holding her at gunpoint, Calderon allegedly made her accompany him on drug runs around town and is facing charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment, unlawful sexual contact, felony menacing, child abuse and assault.

Scroll Down for video link

The unidentified teenager spoke to ABC News 7 in Denver, Colorado, about her terrifying experience
The unidentified teenager spoke to ABC News 7 in Denver, Colorado, about her terrifying experience

‘I’m a little paranoid that when he gets out of jail he’ll try to find me or something,’ she told 7NEWS with the permission of her mother and a victim’s assistance advocate.

‘He was really really creepy, saying he wanted to be with me forever and make me his queen.’

‘He said if I did leave he would find me and shoot me.’

The unnamed girl, of Johnstown, Colorado, was last heard from at around 10:50 p.m. on Tuesday.

David Calderon, 38, is now facing multiple charges, including kidnapping and child abuse charges after allegedly bundling a 16-year-old teen into his car and holding her against her will for two days
David Calderon, 38, is now facing multiple charges, including kidnapping and child abuse charges after allegedly bundling a 16-year-old teen into his car and holding her against her will for two days

Witnesses told investigators that the teen sent messages from her cellphone and Facebook account at that time, saying she was ‘with a guy named Dave’ and ‘scared.’

Click here for full article and video by Dailymail

‘He would bring me juice everyday then rape me’: Woman kidnapped when she was 10 and kept as sex slave reveals more about her horrific 17 day ordeal

Telling her story: On the 20th anniversary of her ordeal, Katie Beers has co-written a book with a television reporter who covered her kidnapping

Telling her story: On the 20th anniversary of her ordeal, Katie Beers has co-written a book with a television reporter who covered her kidnapping

Dungeon: A crane raises a 6 foot by 9 foot bunker out of the earth at the property of John Esposito in this January 18, 1993 file photo

Dungeon: A crane raises a 6 foot by 9 foot bunker out of the earth at the property of John Esposito in this January 18, 1993 file photo

UPDATE – 01/17/13, OLD WESTBURY, NY —  ‘He would bring me juice everyday then rape me’: Woman kidnapped when she was 10 and kept as sex slave reveals more about her horrific 17 day ordeal

  • Katie Beers, now 30, was held captive for 17 days in a widely publicized case
  • On the 20th anniversary of her infamous kidnapping, she has co-authored a book with a TV reporter who covered the case
  • In Buried Memories, Beers writes that she recalls being raped every day that she was in captivity
  • However she also believes the ordeal ‘made me who I am’

CLICK HERE FOR FULL UPDATED ARTICLE written and published by Dailymail.co.uk

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Photo of Katie Beers as a child and an adult — photo of her abductor, John Esposito (left hand corner)

01/16/13, OLD WESTBURY, NY — 20 years on, Katie Beers says kidnapping saved her

Being chained as a 10-year-old for more than two weeks in a coffin-size box in a suburban New York dungeon was, Katie Beers says 20 years later, “the best thing that happened to me” because it allowed her to escape a life of abuse.
On the 20th anniversary of her ordeal, Beers has co-written a book with a television reporter who covered her kidnapping. “Buried Memories: Katie Beers’ Story” (Title Town Publishing) has a happy ending.

Beers is now a 30-year-old married mother of two who earned a degree in business management and works in insurance sales near her home in rural Pennsylvania.
Her kidnapping attracted nationwide attention in early 1993, when revelations surfaced while she was still missing that she had suffered years of neglect from her mother and had been repeatedly sexually assaulted by her godmother’s husband since she was a toddler.
Beers was described in Dickensian terms back then — a louse-infested, filthy waif who had no friends and often was forced to lug the family’s laundry down the block or fetch cigarettes and junk food for her elders.

After kidnapper John Esposito, a family acquaintance, admitted to detectives on Jan. 13, 1993, that he had kidnapped Beers and showed them the dungeon where she was hidden for 17 days under his Bay Shore, N.Y., home, the little girl was placed in foster care and raised in a comfortable East Hampton home with four siblings.
Her foster parents not only imposed newfound discipline into her life, making her go to school regularly and do small chores around the house, but they also shielded Beers from intense media interest. And reporters largely complied with a parent-like plea from a prosecutor to leave her alone.

“We as a society must protect this child, or our professed love for own children is just a fraud, and our so-called compassion for each other is just a mockery,” said James Catterson, at the time the Suffolk County district attorney. Click here for full article….. (News.Yahoo)

Richard Landers, Boy Kidnapped In 1994, Says Grandparents “Were In The Right”

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Photo of Richard Wayne Landers a.k.a Michael Wayne Landers as a child

New man: Pictured outside his home in Browerville, Minnesota Michael Jeff Landers faced reporters as a 24-year-old married and expecting father

ALL GROWN UP: Richard Landers Jr (pictured) will soon be a father himself

01/13/13, HUFFINGTONPOST UPDATE — Richard Wayne Landers, Missing Boy Found As Adult, Says Grandparents ‘Were In The Right’

BROWERVILLE, Minn. — An Indiana mother whose former in-laws allegedly abducted her son nearly 20 years ago was not homeless at the time, the woman’s lawyer said, refuting claims that the grandparents needed to step in because she was unable to care for the boy.

Authorities searched for the then-5-year-old Richard Wayne Landers Jr. for years, but the case went cold. They eventually found him living with his paternal grandparents in the small central Minnesota town of Browerville. He had changed his name in 2006 to Michael Jeff Landers.

Lisa Harter and the boy’s father, Richard Wayne Landers Sr., did live in a car for three days at one point, but at the time of the boy’s disappearance in 1994, Harter had moved into an apartment, attorney Richard Muntz told The Associated Press late Friday.

Photo of Richard Wayne Landers Sr. father of kidnapped boy

Muntz said that when Harter and Landers Sr. divorced, Harter – who has mild developmental disabilities_ temporarily moved into a group home that wasn’t equipped for children. The grandparents obtained custody and filed for guardianship, he said. After Harter moved into an apartment and gained custody of her son on weekends, she filed a petition to expand her custody rights when she remarried.

“The judge gave her custody on a trial basis, and before she could get him, that’s when they left,” Muntz told the AP.

Todd County Sheriff Peter Mikkelson has said the investigation was ongoing and the case will be forwarded to federal authorities for possible charges, perhaps related to non-custodial kidnapping.

Michael Landers seems to have understood his circumstances and lived willingly with his grandparents.

Neither he nor his wife immediately responded to telephone or Facebook messages. But postings from each of their Facebook accounts appeared Friday night and Saturday on the Facebook page of KARE-TV in Minneapolis, suggesting that the grandparents did what was necessary.

A posting from Michael Landers said: “For you people who jump to conclusions you should find out the whole story I was where I needed to be. My `grandparents’ were in the the right I dont care what anyone else thinks.”

Click here for full updated article and video by the Huffingtonpost

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01/12/13, (DAILYMAIL) UPDATE – The happy family life of father-to-be abducted by his grandparents at age five and found almost 19 years later

  • Richard Landers Jr taken from Indiana home by his paternal grandparents in 1994 is pictured for the first time as an adult calling himself Michael
  • His wife is expecting a child and the couple live on the same plot of land as grandparents who are now facing charges
  • Mother and father say they want to renew contact but he and his wife say grandparents were ‘in the right’

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Michael Landers (pictured below) and his wife Bobbie (pictured above) are now expecting their own child and have posted ultrasound images and messages about how excited they are on Facebook

A man abducted by his grandparents at the age of five lives next door to them with his new wife and is preparing to be a father himself.
The impression of a close and happy family life was emerging in the case of Richard Landers Jr, now 24, who was kidnapped by his grandparents as a young child.
Police found the grandparents and Landers almost 19 years after he went missing in an operation, praised by his parents, Lisa Harter and Richard Landers Sr, who had almost given up hope of seeing him again.
But both Landers and his new wife have praised rather than criticized his parents. In a Facebook post Bobbie Landers said his grandparents kept her husband ‘safe’ as a child.

Baby: Michael Landers and his wife Bobbie, pictured left, are now expecting their own child and have posted ultrasound images and messages about how excited they are on Facebook, pictured right
‘His “grandparents” didn’t follow the law, but they did what was right. Sometimes, our US laws don’t help or protect the people they should. He was 5. He remembers his birth parents and what they were like,’ it said.
‘He had been living under his grandparents care since he was a 6 month old baby. He was where he wanted and needed to be to be safe and become the man he is today, my husband and best friend.’
Rather than the appearance of someone held against his will, Landers, who changed his name to Michael himself at age 18, has defended the grandparents who kidnapped and raised him.
He is now preparing to be a father himself with his wife Bobbie, who has two sons from a previous relationship.
They all live on one plot of land in Long Prairie, just outside Browerville, Minnesota and the young couple have been happily posting on Facebook about the upcoming birth of their child.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL UPDATED ARTICLE BY DAILYMAIL.CO.UK

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01/11/13 – WOLCOTTVILLE, INDIANA — Five year old Kidnapped in 1994 Is Found ALIVE living in Minnesota

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Left: Lisa Harter the mother of Richard Wayne Landers (pictured right) was “overjoyed” when she heard that authorities located her missing son, Michael Wayne Landers Jr.

Richard Wayne Landers Jr. was just 5 years old when he and his paternal grandparents, who were upset over custody arrangements, disappeared from Wolcottville, a town about 30 miles north of Fort Wayne. Nineteen years later, news that he has been found living under an assumed name in Minnesota left his mother overjoyed and “jumping up and down,” her husband said Thursday shortly after police announced the break in the case.

Indiana State Police said the now 24-year-old Landers was found in Long Prairie, Minn., thanks in part to his Social Security number. His grandparents were living under aliases in a nearby town and confirmed his identity, investigators said.

Police declined to say whether the grandparents will face charges, citing the ongoing investigation.

Landers’ mother, Lisa Harter, was “jumping up and down for joy” when investigators told her a few days ago that her son had been found, her husband Richard Harter told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

He said his wife is “the happiest woman on earth.”

Harter said he and his wife were working with an attorney and hoped to reunite with his stepson soon. Police said Landers is married and expecting his first child.

Harter declined further comment and referred questions about the case to his attorney, who didn’t immediately return phone messages Thursday. Investigators declined to release the names under which Landers and his grandparents had been living.

Police said the boy’s paternal grandparents, Richard E. and Ruth A. Landers, abducted him in July 1994 because they were “upset over pending court proceedings” regarding his placement.

Police spokesman Sgt. Ron Galaviz said it appears the boy’s father was never in the picture. Lisa and Richard Harter had married a year earlier.

Authorities believe the grandparents took the boy from their home in Wolcottville and fled. They were charged at the time with misdemeanor interference with custody, which was bumped up to a felony in 1999. But the charge was dismissed in 2008 after the case went cold.

Investigators reopened the case in September when Richard Harter turned over the boy’s Social Security card to an Indiana State Police detective. That turned up a man with the same Social Security number and date of birth living in Long Prairie, Minn., about 100 miles northwest of Minneapolis. A driver’s license photo for the man appeared to resemble Landers, police said.

Indiana State Police then contacted Minnesota law enforcement agencies, which began investigating along with the FBI and the Social Security Administration.

The grandparents were found living in nearby Browerville, Minnesota
“By all accounts, it didn’t appear he suffered from any abuse, either physical or mental,” Galaviz said.

Written and published by: FOXNEWS

The Girl in The Box

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Photo of Colleen Stan also known as “The Girl in The Box”

Colleen Stan was a 20-year-old female who was abducted and forced as a sex-slave by a couple on May 19, 1977 while hitchhiking from her hometown of Eugene, Oregon to Red Bluff, California to visit a good friend who lived in Westwood. She had wanted to surprise her friend for her birthday, which was coming up soon and she was willing to travel the 400 miles to do so.

Of course Colleen knew that walking the 400 miles would be crazy. She figured she’d hitchhike down Interstate 5, which was very popular to do in the 70’s despite the obvious dangers.

She made good time, catching rides that took her pretty far along her way. By the afternoon, she had gotten 350 miles towards her destination to the town of Red Bluff and with less than 60 miles to go, she was actually going to be earlier then she initially anticipated.

She evaluated each person who stopped to offer rides to make sure they “appeared safe”, and had even turned down two potential rides when she did not feel right about them, so when a blue Dodge Colt stopped on the road with a man, woman and baby inside, Colleen was relieved and did not hesitate to get in the vehicle.

The couple introduced themselves as Cameron and Janice Hooker. They were young, clean-cut and friendly and Colleen remembered hoping into the backseat overjoyed.

“I was thanking my lucky stars,” she would later say in an interview.

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Cameron Hooker (left) and Janice Hooker (right)

The Hookers were making friendly conversation, asking where she was heading, and Colleen was very comfortable until she noticed Cameron looking at her through the rare-view mirror, which gave her a bad gut feeling. But, despite her instincts and an opportunity to run while at a gas station restroom, she stayed and rationalized that man wouldn’t do anything to her in front of his wife and child and got back into the vehicle and they drove off.

They drove for another mile or so until Cameron appeared to make up his mind about something.

The Hookers mentioned that they were very close to some spectacular ice caves and they wanted to make a quick stop. A passive Colleen would have rather forgo the trip to see ice caves and gone straight to her friend’s home but she didn’t object and figured a quick stop wouldn’t hurt. She was already making good time, right?

Cameron drove down a dirt road that seemed to take them to the middle of nowhere and then stopped the car, turning the key to shut off the engine. His wife got out of the car holding the baby. Suddenly Colleen found a knife pointed against her throat. Cameron ordered her to put her hands above her head and asked her if she was going to do whatever he said. She froze in fear. She didn’t know what else to say except, “Yes.” He then handcuffed, blindfolded, bound, and gagged her.

He placed a large, metal-hinged box made out of plywood over Colleen’s head. It was heavy and had dense insulation in between its double walls, and a neck hole that near choked her.  The interior was carpeted, which impeded her ability to breathe. Wearing this, she could not eat, drink, hear, or see.

Cameron then covered her with something heavy which to Colleen, felt like her sleeping bag she brought with her.

She heard the car start back up again and sobbed to herself, wondering what was going to happen. After feeling the car stop for a few minutes, it started back up only to stop again a short time later.

The Hooker’s had taken their new victim to their home.

Google map showing the house that the Hooker’s lived and kept Colleen as a sex slave

Inside a house, Cameron removed the box that he’d placed over her head.  He then led Colleen down some steps into a dark cellar. He indicated that she was to stand on a Coleman ice chest and then told her to lift her hands over her head. Then he used a leather strap to tie her wrists to pipes. As he removed each item of her clothing, she felt him trembling.  She was still blindfolded, but she could sense that he was building up to something.  Uncomfortable as all of this was, it was nothing compared to what came next.

He removed the chest that was supporting her weight, and she hung there, suspended in the air.  Colleen kicked and screamed to be let down.  He then told her, in a sarcastic tone, to “go ahead and scream,” And told her that if she continued screaming that he will cut her vocal chords, like he did with past victims, leading her to believe she wasn’t the first. He then left her hanging in the downstairs cellar by herself.

 He started to hit her with something that hurt, both front and back. Colleen shrieked out for help, but that only made him hit her more.  She realized he was using a whip.  He then left her hanging, with her tiptoes just barely brushing something.  She could see beneath the blindfold that a pornographic magazine lay on the floor, featuring a naked woman hung up just as she was.

Shortly after being tortured, His wife came downstairs and the both of them had sex right in front of Colleen, as some sort of ‘celebration’ for their new ‘sex-slave.’

After that, he made her sit inside another locking box, and when he closed it, she discovered that she could not move.  Then he placed the head box back on her head.  She was now completely immobilized and barely able to breathe.  She began to scream, drawing her captor back.  He placed a strap over her chest that constricted her breathing even more, forcing her to stop making noise.  Then he left her like that for a very long and frightening night. She thought she was going to die. Her simple wish that morning to surprise her friend and wish her happy birthday, had turned into the worst experience of her life, and it had only just begun.

She would spend the next seven years, until she was 27, kept against her will. Raped, tortured, abused, starved and kept in a box, humiliated and degraded to the point that she was considered brainwashed, and was too fearful to ask for help. She was made to wear the head-gear and gag daily and slept in “the box”, which kept her from seeing, hearing, eating, and reduced her capacity to breath.

The box, shown re-constructed as evidence during the trail of the Hookers

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A sketch of what Colleen would have appeared like in the box

She was referred to as ”K” and had been so malnourished, her hair started falling out and she started losing a large amount of weight.

Click CRIME LIBRARY for the full story and read more on Colleen Stan and how she managed to finally escape her abductors and alert authorities.

Photo of Colleen Stan which was taken at Cameron Hookers trail

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Birthday photo of Colleen Stan

Photo of Colleen Stan, taken decades after her kidnapping ordeal. Colleen had her own words of wisdom for another kidnapped survivor, Jaycee Lee Dugard, the child kidnapped at age 11 and who was discovered 18 years later as a mother of two, still being held captive by her abductors, Phillip and Nancy Garrido. – CBS Exclusive: Woman Imprisoned in Coffin for 7 Years Has Special Message for Jaycee Dugard