Flashback Friday: Roland Jack Spencer

This week’s Flashback Friday is Roland Jack Spencer III, a severely disabled three-year-old who vanished without a trace from the town of Wapato in central Washington on May 25, 1984. He is presumed to have been abducted, but I can find VERY little about his disappearance, even though it must have rocked that small town to the core.

Poking around online, I discovered his death certificate, some obituaries of possible relatives, and nothing more.

Roland’s mother, Celestine Spencer or Yallup, has gotten a bit more press. She was found dead in November 1982, when she was twenty-one and her little son was barely two years old. Celestine’s death was in all probability accidental, but many other women disappeared from the Yakama Indian Reservation in the late eighties and early nineties and were subsequently found murdered.

As for Roland, I have to say the poor little tyke didn’t have a snowball’s chance if a stranger abducted him. He had severe medical and developmental problems, including a seizure disorder that, untreated, would have caused him to slip into a coma. The only question is who made him disappear, and why.

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11 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: Roland Jack Spencer

  1. Orla January 17, 2014 / 5:39 am

    Thanks Meaghan, the little guy is surely in his mother’s arms now.

    I cannot understand the lack of ‘hue and cry’ over this child’s disaperance.

    Roland, and another child who vanished with seemingly no fuss kicked up over it, Dontray Hunter, are never far from my mind.

  2. Angie January 17, 2014 / 11:37 am

    It’s the most frustrating thing in the world when nobody cares about a missing child. I noticed on the Charley Project updates page that a 13 year old boy, Bhurwinder Singh Dhillon, was just listed as a “few details are available.” Seriously? A 13 year old boy missing for over a year and the police don’t care enough to actually investigate? Sorry to say but if it was a middle class white kid they would probably care to follow up.

    Also, speaking of disabled children, have you heard that they found remains that may be Avonte Oquendo washed up from the East River?

    • Meaghan January 18, 2014 / 12:41 am

      The Charley Project is full of middle-class white kids who disappear and have “few details available.” It doesn’t necessarily mean the police didn’t follow up, it just means that I, personally, don’t know anything.

      Yes, I’ve heard about the body. I hope it’s Avonte’s and his family can finally find out what happened.

  3. Mion January 18, 2014 / 12:57 am

    Poor kid. I hope that, whatever happened to him, it was painless and happened fast. And that, if he really was abducted and killed by someone, that LE can find out who did it and punish them.

    • Mion January 18, 2014 / 1:16 am

      Also, on a totally unrelated note – Do you know that Brian Ladd guy? He’s some psychic dude who claims to have helped in dozens of missing persons cases and he is constantly ripping off from your site before doing his BS psychic predictions. And it’s really annoying, too, because I’ll be looking up an interesting case that Charley didn’t have a whole lot of info on, and Ladd’s site is ALWAYS in the top few results. Including for Roland Jack Spencer.

    • Diane January 19, 2014 / 12:41 am

      Ok, I read what you typed way too fast and thought you’d said “… that LE can find out who did it and punch them”. I got really excited and was going to volunteer to help punch them too (my dad was an amateur boxer in his teens, we bonded over watching pro boxing matches on TV, and he taught me how to box, plus I regularly lift heavy things [e.g. my mom’s wheelchair] so I think I could be pretty good at the whole punching thing) but alas, you said “punish”. Drat, ruin all my fun there. Anyway, on a serious note, I feel really bad about Roland Jack Spencer’s disappearance because that poor little kid had a terrible start to life and because he was so darned adorable that I can’t help but be delayed protective of him. (BTW, I have some indigenous blood in me and it shows, and I really hope my future babies are as cute as little Roland. And if so, I would hug and protect them ceaselessly, much like I’d have liked to hug and protect little Roland.)

      • Kaori October 3, 2014 / 3:48 pm

        Hello Diane,I also fell in love with this poor little guy when I saw yellowpage ad 26 years ago.Unfortunately for him,I was a Japanese tourist.I’ve been thinking if I was an American who know how to do,I could more for him.

  4. Kaori October 3, 2014 / 12:54 pm

    Hi,I missed this post.Meaghan knows well,but for people who know about him by this post,Jack was searched by family and CHILDFIND back in 1988,by Yellowpage ad.His mother passed away already,and other family members were too young or too old.Also,at first in internet world,(Thanks for Meaghan’s work)Child who doesn’t have strong family support will vanished from major missing children’s website.Years later,I got a contact from his cousin who was also a kid in 1988,and I heard a little detail.also,Jack’s father was abusive for his mother,on his cousin’s account,Jack was born disabled because of physical abuse while pregnant.(But I don’t think he did something for Jack’s missing.because he must be first person police would question)

  5. Kaori October 3, 2014 / 12:59 pm

    And I could find very little about his case,even I’ve searching for over 20 years.I’m not in contact with his cousin now.NAMUS includes facts I never read,I hope there’s more to found out.

  6. angelorphanbox October 3, 2014 / 4:20 pm

    Reblogged this on angelorphanbox and commented:
    I’ve been searching information for this little boy for 26 years.Now experienced U.S missing persons website like The Charley project and Doe Network have page for this boy.It makes me so relieved.long years ago,one missing children board’s owner told me “You know how many children are missing in US!?”When I asked to include his information..(Fortunately or Unfortunately,I forgot which board it was.Later,first website and board,Porchlight international for missing and unidentified helped me to post)

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