My first Flashback Friday

This first Flashback Friday (see my explanation of it here) is really featuring two people. I selected Pamela Mayfield, but she disappeared with her brother Michael and you can’t talk about one without the other.

Pamela and Michael were both kindergarten students; Pamela was five, and Michael was six and repeating kindergarten. (This shouldn’t necessarily be taken as a sign that he was mentally slow or learning disabled or anything like that; a lot of kids repeat kindergarten. Sometimes their parents even request it.) They disappeared from their hometown of Houston, Texas on January 10, 1985, while walking back home from Betsy Ross Elementary School. They were apparently alone. Very few modern American parents would think of letting five- or six-year-old children walk alone to or from school, especially in the city, but this was a more innocent time.

Eyewitnesses saw the siblings get into a green van with a male driver; this was the last trace of them. It’s a presumed non-family abduction, but the police believe they knew their abductor(s). The children’s relatives all cooperated with the investigation and were ruled out as suspects.

This case seems to have been totally forgotten; there hasn’t been any mention of these two in the media in many years, at least not that I know of. The statistics indicate Michael and Pamela were most likely killed a short time after their abduction. But there’s no hard evidence that they’re dead, and they were just young enough that maybe they’re alive and grew up under other identities, not knowing who they really were.

Michael and Pamela Mayfield would both be in their mid-thirties today, if they are alive. Michael just turned 35 earlier this month and Pamela will be 34 in two weeks.

15 thoughts on “My first Flashback Friday

  1. forthelost June 28, 2013 / 6:06 pm

    I believe Michael was repeating kindergarten because they felt he was too young for it the first time.

    • Meaghan June 28, 2013 / 6:11 pm

      Yeah, that’s the reason a lot of kids repeat kindergarten. Some schools automatically make the kids repeat kindergarten if they haven’t turned six (or whatever age they say) by the year’s end.

  2. Franklin June 28, 2013 / 7:42 pm

    Meaghan was does LE contact mean? and will you be updating today?

    • Meaghan June 28, 2013 / 7:49 pm

      Law enforcement contact. A phone number, or at the very least the name of the law enforcement agency investigating her case.

      No, I won’t be updating today.

      • Franklin June 28, 2013 / 8:39 pm

        I found the date of birth of Dorothy Arnold! Its July 1 1885!! although it some agencies say she was born in 1884.

      • eric June 28, 2013 / 8:42 pm

        I saw it a long time ago I remember I have the link somewhere I’ll email it to you

  3. Holly June 28, 2013 / 8:34 pm

    Meaghan: Do you believe that children who are abducted at an early age, say a few months old to 5 or 6 years old, have a better chance that they were abducted because someone simply wanted to raise a child of their own? Just curious what your take on it is. Thank you for posting this. I was unaware of this case. And I hope they’re found alive and well someday.

    • Meaghan June 28, 2013 / 9:00 pm

      Yes, I believe that, although I also believe that child abductees who were taken for that reason are very much in the minority.

      Also, a “child raising” motive doesn’t necessarily preclude other motives. For example Nyleen Marshall: the authorities received communications from someone who claimed he had taken her and was raising her, and couldn’t bear to give her up. From the tone and wording used in the letters and phone calls, they believe the person — assuming he really was Nyleen’s abductor — was also sexually abusing her. And at four, it’s unlikely Nyleen would remember much of her previous life.

  4. Melissa Kent June 29, 2013 / 1:25 am

    So tragic, as are all disappearances. This one,in,particular makes me shudder as my two beautiful kids are almost the same ages. Couldn’t think of anything worse. Those poor parents.

    • Meaghan June 29, 2013 / 1:47 am

      I hope those weren’t their only children. I mean, obviously the loss of any child is going to be devastating, but somehow it seems worse if Michael and Pamela were the only ones they had.

  5. Michael July 1, 2013 / 10:27 am

    Wow, 1985 doesn’t seem that long ago or a more innocent time. I guess it was because I remember hearing about bad things happening back then.

    • Meaghan July 1, 2013 / 1:22 pm

      People are ludicrously overprotective of their kids nowadays. Very few children would have the kind of freedom I did as a kid. I roamed far and wide, went on 25-mile bike rides, etc.

  6. Holly July 2, 2013 / 11:18 pm

    1985 was a more innocent time. I was 5 then and I often tell my daughters about how much more freedoms we had and trust we had for neighbors and friends. Now, I don’t even let my 14 year old walk down the road without me watching her. I have read through these cases – at least 3 or 4 times. And I think about the kids whose parents turned around for merely a few minutes and then their child was gone. Just like that. It’s astounding to me that lives can be ruined in that short amount of time. And if they had that split second back, they’d take it in a heartbeat. So I guess it’s a matter of as a parent, you’re not trying to be overprotective with your kids. You just know that in that split second of a time frame, something could happen that could leave you never knowing what happened to your child. I have been on Michaela Garecht’s mom’s blog and I can tell you, she has had 25 years of wonder. She still remains strong but her pain is deep. And I could never go through that – I would crumble.

    • Debra June 7, 2014 / 2:35 am

      Even in 1985 I would not have let my 5 and 6 year old go anywhere by themselves. They rode the public bus to school when they were 12 and 14, and I would call the school to make sure they made it. As bad ad the times we live in now I watch people let their young kids walk from where the school bus let them off, 3 streets over to home I stand in my window and pray for them that God would protect them.

  7. Debra June 7, 2014 / 2:23 am

    Wow,I remembered when these kids dissapeared my moms house is not far from where they lived. These kids ran across my mind because I never heard if they were found, I couldn’t remember what year it was. I just began to search the web with the school name. I am saddened to know they were never found.

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