Flashback Friday: Richard Ray Barnett

My selection for this week’s Flashback Friday is little Richard Ray Barnett, aka Ricky, who disappeared from his grandparents’ Grangeville, Idaho egg and dairy farm on August 31, 1982. He was two years and nine months old at the time. Grangeville is a tiny town of only a few thousand in northern Idaho. Richard’s mother lived in a southern part of the state. Ricky’s father lived on the farm with his parents at the time of the child disappeared. He was last seen sitting on a hay wagon near the farm’s chicken barns. Bloodhounds tracked his scent to a fence, but lost the trail then, and there was no other sign of him in spite of a four-day search of the farm involving hundreds of volunteers.

Although Ricky’s grandparents were considered suspects or at least persons of interest for years after his disappearance, it looks like the police have discounted the theory now. His grandfather is dead now, but his grandmother ultimately passed a polygraph and was ruled out as a suspect. She lived in Hawaii last I knew; I’m not sure if she’s still alive.

It’s possible he was abducted and, if that was the case, he may have been taken by someone who wanted to raise a child. Given his age at the time of his disappearance, he may not realize he isn’t the son of the people who raised him. In 2006 a man came forward who thought he might be Ricky, but DNA tests proved otherwise.

Ricky was bowlegged and wore braces to correct his condition, but those were removed months prior to his disappearance. Beyond that he doesn’t really have any particular distinguishing characteristics that I know of. It seems like this toddler’s presumed abduction must have rocked that little Idaho town, but I haven’t been able to find much in the press. Although there was a flurry of articles in the 2000s, I can’t find any recent press or other information on his disappearance and there doesn’t seem to have been that much to begin with.

Both of Ricky’s parents now live in Oregon. I don’t know if he has any siblings or half-siblings. His NamUs profile says DNA is available but not dental charts; perhaps, at two, he had simply never been to see a dentist. If he’s still alive, he’d be 34 years old as of this writing. Where is he; what happened to him?

Anyone who knows anything about the case should contact the law enforcement number listed in Richard Barnett’s casefile. Anyone know knew him or his family back in 1982, I’d love if they posted information in the comments section that I might be able to add to the Charley Project.

15 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: Richard Ray Barnett

  1. Patti August 15, 2014 / 5:36 am

    Suggestion for person of the week:
    He is not from the US, but went missing after arriving here. There is no one here who would be looking for him or who would necessarily recognize him, since he knew no one from here. So I feel he should be featured again.

  2. Heidi Mckinney November 1, 2014 / 5:02 am

    Ricky has a sister that was born shortly after he went missing she lives in grangeville currently on the same property he went missing from. She recently discovered possible clues and contacted the sherrif department to do investigation or follow up her suspicions but nobody has yet .

  3. jaime mcferon March 17, 2015 / 2:20 pm

    There is a lot that u don’t have . yes he has a brother and four sisters I am one of them I don’t much only what I’ve been told cuz I was only 2 months old contact me and u can talk to our mom

    • Kelly Flowers June 12, 2015 / 7:28 am

      Do you have a sister named Julie in CA? She’s my neighbor and talks about the disappearance of her brother from the dairy farm often. Her parents Sherri and Dan

      • Kelly Flowers June 12, 2015 / 11:01 am

        I met to say her mom is Judy.

    • anonymous December 30, 2015 / 5:28 pm

      There is a boy I went to school with since kindergarten in nezperce idaho. He also was adopted. He looks like the progressed photo. And was raised in nezperce. His birthday is coincidence 12-25-79… 24 miles away from grangeville. Look up scott branson of nezperce idaho

      • julie blose May 20, 2017 / 9:06 pm

        Thank you very much I hope that this is a hit for my family it’s been a long time since his disappearance. We have contacted Scott and he is going to do the DNA. I am so thankful for you regardless of the results. Bless you Ricky’s oldest sister Julie

      • Julie Blose January 11, 2018 / 2:33 pm

        I would love to thank you and talk to in person please send me a message If anything we can just text or email each other but please respond ty so very much. Julie Blose/Barnett

      • Leslie Barnett February 9, 2018 / 1:26 am

        I’m Ricky’s brother and I have talked with Scott. He did say he was going to do the DNA then talked with his foster parents and now he’s not wanting to do the DNA. I’m a;most positive this is him after comparing pictures and even found the same scar. The only way to tell is DNA. This is really getting to me.

      • Julie Blose 831-272-3296 September 1, 2020 / 4:09 pm

        Dear Anonymous,

        I first wanted to say Thank you so much, Though Scott is not following through his foster parents talked him out of it, We are tremendously thankful. I was hoping you could send a photo of him to us from school when he was younger .i understand anonymity is important so you can open an email under anonymous, I know you’ve done bunches already but please this would help. I appreciate so much. I do think he is Ricky he is scared to believe it though. If you can get a facebook site to him I would be thankful, I really want to reach out to him. but I think my brother scared him off. I won’t do that. Help me Please…. And Thank you for all you’ve done. Julie Blose

  4. Kelly Flowers June 12, 2015 / 7:22 am

    One of his sisters his older one, lives behind me (Salinas CA) and baby sits our son. She remembers her brother and talks about his disappearance often. I believe she was there at the farm too when he went missing.

  5. Ray August 8, 2016 / 6:21 am

    I cant remember my past but i do remember a dairy farm that I was on but don’t remember where it was I’m trying too find it my pics I have of me look like Richard the mom that raised me does not have pics of me antell I was 4/6 year old does anyone have pics of that dairy farm or address

    • julie blose January 2, 2017 / 8:02 pm

      the pictures of the ranch will be found in the news papaer or you can contact me at my email address julieablose@student.hartnell.edu I am ricky’s oldest sister.

    • julie blose May 20, 2017 / 9:10 pm

      Hello Ray I am really interested in hearing from you. I can’t wait for the day that we bring our baby brother home. We all still love and Miss him and his smile. Please if you feel you are maybe Ricky please feel free to contact me. my email is julieablose@student.hartnell.edu

    • julie September 1, 2020 / 4:18 pm

      Ray I know that we think Scott might be Ricky but that doesn’t mean he is. We do look forward to seeing your photo so please if you are him we want to know we are still actively looking. PLEASE respond, You opened a door. Let’s fallow through it please. Ray when is your birthday, do you remember your brother and sisters, do you have a scar above your eye, We have photos of the farm. also do you remember a blue suit with cowboy boots? It disappeared with him, my phone number is 831-272-3296 call me we will talk. please ray it makes sense your name is ray so was my brothers middle name. I look forward to talking with you.

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