Someone — that is to say, a real life person talking with me in the flesh — asked me about the Bob Louis Boyes case today. I told her I run a missing persons website and she was like, “Do you know about this case where some boy disappeared in, like 1969, and I think his last name was Boyes…” And I was like, “Holy crap, you actually know about that case?”

It turned out she’d seen his NCMEC poster somewhere and was intrigued by the fact that he’d been missing for so long. (She remembered his pet deer too. I mean, who has a pet deer?) She tried to find out more about the case online but there wasn’t much. Unfortunately, I myself don’t really know much more than what’s on the poster.

But I never thought that a woman in Ohio would ask me about a boy who disappeared in Maryland in 1968 and never made headlines.

Rapist convicted in murder of brother 40 years ago

Joseph Barabino, who was earlier convicted of raping an 11-year-old girl, has now been convicted also of the 1972 murder of his brother, Vincent. Joseph was fifteen years old at the time; Vincent was six. He had been missing for two hours when his nude body turned up in the cab of a fuel truck. He’d been stabbed to death. The murder was witnessed by another brother, Michael, who was four. Michael was the main witness against Joseph at the trial.

Joseph had apparently sexually molested both boys and may have stabbed another brother in a fight years before Vincent was killed. (He didn’t die.) Not everyone in the family believes Michael’s story about the murder, though. Michael claims he was ostracized by his family when he made the decision to testify against Joseph. Their sister thinks he made up the story to get revenge on Joseph for molesting him.

This case has all the hallmarks of a Law and Order episode.

Missing man found in wife’s flowerbed

I didn’t have this guy on Charley, more’s the pity. It looks like he was never officially reported missing. But the police have found a long-missing guy, David Bostic, buried in his wife’s garden. This was in North Carolina.

David Ellis Bostic disappeared sometime in the mid-1990s. The time his family saw him was in 1994 and the police have his voting record from 1996 and that’s the last sign of him. He’d been sick and his wife, Ruth, said he’d gone to a nursing home several states away. Everyone believed the story.

Ruth appears to have suffered from mental illness for much of her life. In the decade and a half after David dropped out of sight, her mental condition deteriorated and she become the neighborhood’s resident crazy person, as well as being estranged from her family. Her house fell into disrepair but she kept her garden up nicely. When she died last year, no one noticed until her mail started piling up. She was 78. Naturally, she had continued to collect David’s Social Security checks until she died.

Apparently it wasn’t till after Ruth’s death that anyone realized David was missing, although his family wondered why they hadn’t heard from him in so long. On a hunch, the police dug up the garden, and there he was.

Perhaps David simply died. He was a lot older than Ruth was, and he was in his eighties when he disappeared. In fact, I think that’s the most likely explanation: David died and Ruth concealed his death either because she was batshit crazy, or to collect his Social Security checks. The autopsy didn’t reveal anything suspicious — although, after so many years, evidence of murder would be harder to find.

It reminds me a bit of the Walter Dunson case.

New York Daily News
The Associated Press