Jeffrey Walkenford maybe also found

Jeffrey Scott Walkenford, aged 41, disappeared from Juneau, Alaska on May 15, 2010. Per this Alaska Dispatch News article, they’ve probably found him. Or, at least, they found human remains with some of Walkenford’s things nearby, including his clothes and his cell phone with selfies of Walkenford in it.


“The human remains have not been positively identified as being Walkenford. Positive identification is estimated to take approximately 6 months,” [Juneau Police Department] said in a Wednesday release.

The police department sent the remains to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage for analysis, but identification requires DNA testing outside of Alaska.

I’m not sure whether to pull him yet or not, then. I probably should. I mean, what are the chances that some guy who was dressed like Walkenford would die next to a pile of Walkenford’s stuff and NOT be Walkenford?

Adam Herrman’s adoptive father dies

I have written a great deal about the mysterious disappearance of Adam Herrman over the years, but this is my first entry on the subject since 2014. A recap:

Adam was adopted out of foster care by Doug and Valerie Herrman, when he was two years old. He “ran away” from Towanda, Kansas sometime in the late spring or early summer of 1999,  when he was ten or eleven years old. Doug and Valerie never reported him missing; his adoptive sister did, until 2008.

Subsequent investigation showed that Adam’s so-called parents had abused him prior to his disappearance, and after he went missing they told several different stories to family members to explain his absence. They also continued to claim him as a dependent on their taxes and collect subsidies for his care, both of which are illegal.

(A lesson for the uninitiated: Foster parents are paid a little — not nearly enough — to cover their expenses in caring for the kids. If you adopt a foster child, especially a special needs child, in many states they continue to pay you until they turns 18 or for as long as they live with you. A foster kid doesn’t necessarily need to have health problems to be considered “special needs.” The term also applies to older children, non-white children, members of a sibling group or any other type of kid who is considered difficult to place. Adam was a member of a sibling group, and even at two years old, he might have been considered an older child.)

Authorities have found no evidence that Adam is still alive and they’re pretty sure he was murdered by the Herrmans, but due to lack of evidence they were only able to get them for felony theft, regarding the subsidies they accepted after he was no longer living with them.

Anyway, fast forward to the present day: Doug Herrman has died of natural causes at the age of 61. This article says it was complications of a blood clot.

This is bad. With both of them alive, there was always the possibility that one might flip and testify against the other. Now, if Valerie is ever charged with Adam’s murder — and witnesses stated she was the more abusive parent and Doug sometimes even tried to protect him — she can blame Doug for the whole thing and claim she has no idea what happened or where Adam is. And on top of that, given that Valerie is also in poor health, it looks entirely possible that she too could die before this case is resolved.

But then again, they were able to convict Aarone Thompson‘s father of murder even after Aarone’s stepmother and co-abuser, Shely Lowe, died. So who knows.

I am so sick of this

The disappearance of little Jeremiah Oliver has got me thinking about all the other children out there who disappeared under similar circumstances — i.e. their disappearances were not reported for weeks or months or years, and there’s a good chance it was their own parents or guardians that harmed them. I thought I’d list their names again, and the lengths of time that passed in between time of disappearance and MP report.

Logan Bowman — 20 days
Austin Eugene Bryant — 8 years
Edward Dylan Bryant — 10 years
Adam Joseph Herrman — 9 years
James. P. Higham III — 28 days
Peter J. Kema Jr. — 3-4 months
Garnell Monroe Moore — 2 years
Erica Parsons — 1 year
Michelle Kelly Pulsifer — 32 years
Qua’mere Sincere Rogers — 8 months
Rene Alberto Romero — not sure, something less than 4 years
Dwight Stallings — 6 weeks
Aarone Thompson — 1 year, maybe?
Brittany Renee Williams — 2 years
Rilya Shenise Wilson 1 year
Patricia Wood — 11 years

I’m sure there are more. It’s just these are the only ones I can think of at present.

I’ll repeat what I said on this blog almost five years ago:

When you think about it, it could be shockingly easy to conceal your child’s disappearance, particularly with very young children who aren’t old enough to be enrolled in school (or who, like Garnell Moore, were never registered for school even when they got old enough). Families move away and lose touch. Kids are sent to live with relatives and aren’t seen anymore. If it was a single parent with one child and not much of an extended family, or if two parents collaborated and kept it a secret among themselves, and they kept their story straight, the lie could hold indefinitely. I read a book once about a scheme where parents would send their more troublesome teenage offspring to a rural “boarding school,” when in fact they were knowingly sending them to a facility that killed them and hid their bodies.

It seems to me that the main problem we have to deal with here (besides abusive and/or abetting family members) is a lack of community, a lack of neighbors looking out for neighbors, or extended family looking out for extended family. To give you an example of a case that DIDN’T turn into one of the kinds of disappearances listed above, I refer you to my Executed Today article about William Showers, who slaughtered his two grandsons after telling everyone they were getting adopted by a family in Texas. Who knows, Showers could have gotten away with murder had the neighbors not noticed that his story didn’t add up. They went to the cops within a few days, who launched a search for the boys and found their bodies.

Now, I’m not going to say that everything was rosy back in Ye Olden Times and people looked out for each other. In those days it was probably just as easy to conceal a child’s disappearance and it probably happened just as often, if not more so. But if more people paid attention to what was going on around them, instead of saying “it’s not my business” or simply not caring, maybe the disappearances on my list would have been reported sooner or maybe they wouldn’t have happened in the first place.

If nothing else, we need to learn some kind of lesson from the stories of the children listed above. This kind of thing should never happen at all.

Only a small update today

Five updated cases. That’s it. I’m feeling exceptionally lazy today and kind of down. Nothing major, it’s just that I keep reflecting on my life and all things I did and didn’t do and didn’t do well enough. I’ll get over it.

The largest update was for Erica Parsons. (And yes, her father’s name really is Sandy and her mom’s name is Casey, not the other way around.) Her case is starting to sound more like Adam Herrman‘s case every day. Let’s look at the similarities:

1. Both were adopted.
2. Both of them “ran away.”
3. Both of them were home-schooled, which is part of the reason their disappearances went unnoticed for so long.
4. In both cases, the adopted parents speculated their missing child was with biological family members.
5. Both of them were reported missing by an adult sibling, because the parents wouldn’t do it.
6. In both cases, members of the extended family came forward and said they’d seen the missing child being abused by their adopted parents.
7. In both cases, the adoptive parents got a subsidy from the state and continued to collect it for years after their child disappeared.

Rest in peace, Erica.

Sweet, the Herrmans got the max!

Adam Herrman‘s “parents” have gotten the maximum sentence for fraud: Doug got nine months in jail and Valerie got seven. (Doug got more because he had a prior criminal record.) I am very happy about this, because it looked like they wouldn’t serve any time at all. And of course they have to repay the money they stole, and court costs.

It must be said, of course, that the maximum is not very much here. But it’s better than nothing. As far as I’m concerned those two could never spend too many days behind bars.

From one article:

Butler County District Judge David Ricke gave Doug Herrman a nine-month sentence and Valerie Herrman a seven-month sentence — the maximum under the state sentencing grid. Ricke ordered that the couple be taken immediately into custody.

Their theft of $15,488 in state adoption subsidies for their adopted son was serious enough, Ricke said. But it isn’t just about the money, he said.

“This is about a boy named Adam Herrman, too,” Ricke said.

Adam is the 11-year-old adopted son who disappeared from the Herrmans’ Towanda home in 1999. The Herrmans never reported him missing, yet they continued to accept state money for his care, Ricke said.

If the Herrmans had told authorities that their son was missing, Ricke said, a missing-child alert could have been issued. There could have been search parties.

“His face should have been on milk cartons,” the judge said as the Herrmans and their attorneys listened.

“He deserved” to be reported missing, Ricke said.

But more than 12 years after Adam vanished, Ricke said, “this child is still missing.”

The judge described the couple’s inaction and action as “callous and emotionally detached” and as the “calculated abandonment of a child.”

It is a case, he said, of a child “whose interests were traded for money” by his parents.

Never was a truer thing said.

The Wichita Eagle
The El Dorado Times
The Kansas City Star

And…here goes nothing

A few days ago I had been wondering on this blog what sort of trial Doug and Valerie Herrman would have for defrauding the state of Adam’s benefits after he “ran away from home” in 1999. As far as I could see there was no defense to be had: they did it. They knew what they were doing when they did it. They knew it was illegal and wrong. They confessed, many times. What possible defense could they present?

Well, evidently Doug and Valerie reached the same conclusion I did, because they reached a plea agreement with prosecutors: guilty to felony theft. They will have to pay restitution of $15,488, the amount they pleaded guilty to stealing. The agreement recommends a sentence of a year of probation and a $2,500 fine for each of them, but the judge could go as high as five to fifteen months in prison and $100,000. I seriously hope the judge decides to exceed the recommendation. These two need to serve some serious time.

Of course, as the Wichita Eagle puts it, the unresolved question here is what happened to Adam.

Nobody’s buying that “ran away” crap, Doug, Valerie. Everyone knows what really happened. I don’t care what sort of behavior problems the child had: Adam Herrman did not deserve to die the way he did, he did not deserve to be denied a proper resting place and the people who truly love him do not deserve to sit in limbo wondering what happened and where his body lies. So fess up. You’re going down either way.

What did you do to that little boy?

Adam Herrman’s so-called parents facing trial

According to the Wichita Eagle, the adoptive “parents” of Adam Herrman will go to trial in a week on charges of stealing money from the state that was meant to pay for his care. I have written enough about Adam and his very sad story that he has his own sub-category on this blog.

I can’t imagine what kind of defense Doug and Valerie Herrman will have. They have confessed many times that they took the money. They admit they lied many times on official documents and such that Adam was living with them when he was not. They admit that this fraud went on for years. The only thing I can think of is that the defense might try to mitigate their sentences or something.

Of course, the real question is: Where is Adam? Most likely: Where is he buried? Perhaps the looming specter of prison time for fraud might convince one of the Herrmans to flip and testify against the other about Adam’s disappearance. But it hasn’t happened yet.

Doug and Valerie Herrman plead not guilty to fraud

Doug and Valerie Herrman, the sorry excuses for parents of Adam Herrman (you know, the boy who supposedly ran away back in 1999 when he was 11, and his parents never reported him missing and it didn’t come out until late 2008, yeah, remember him?), have pleaded not guilty to fraud. Doug and Valerie had adopted Adam out of foster care when he was little. They collected over $50,000 in benefits such as adoption subsidies, etc., for Adam after he was no longer living in their home. Their attorney calls it a “technical violation.” Uh-huh, right. The trial is set for June.

Of course, Doug and Valerie are suspected of being guilty of far graver crimes than that. But right now, the Butler County District Attorney’s Office will take what it can get. The investigation into Adam’s disappearance has been quiet for awhile, but remains open and active.

I hope they dream about him every night.

Delayed-notification missing children

I’ve cobbled together a list of, I think, all the kids on Charley whose disappearances were not reported for a significant time period. It’s longer than I thought, alas, and took a long time to put together:

Nicholas Plaza, 5, missing from San Antonio, Texas on October 23, 2001. Not reported until November 21, nearly a month later. Believed murdered by Mom’s boyfriend. Mother pleaded guilty to injury of a child by omission and got 20 years; her boyfriend was convicted of injury to a child and got 67 years.

Sheri Johnson, 4, and her brother Michael, 10 months. Disappeared with their mother, Freda Denman, and her husband, Henry Harbison, from Independence, Missouri sometime in November 1974. Not reported until March 1975, presumably because the whole family was gone. It is believed Harbison killed his wife and her children, but this hasn’t been confirmed and none of them were ever found.

Barry “Bucky” Kephart, 11, missing from Albuquerque, New Mexico since August 22, 1981. Not reported for two days. Authorities believe his father, Barry Sr., beat him to death. Unfortunately the statute of limitations has expired for any crimes Barry Sr. might have been charged with.

Kyanja Vanwey, 17, missing from Des Moines, Iowa since September 14, 2005. Not reported missing until January 4, 2006, for unclear reasons. Thought to be a runaway.

Twins Brenttany and Brent Hughes, 4, their half-sister Sarena Glenn, 9, and their aunt Jennifer Hughes, 17. Disappeared from Fayetteville, North Carolina sometime in December 1996 with Robby Floyd, who was Jennifer’s sister and mother to the younger children. Not reported missing until August 1998, as Robby was frequently out of touch with her family. I’ve heard rumors to the affect that this family has been found, but I haven’t had any confirmation.

Peter Kema, 6, missing from Honolulu, Hawaii sometime in the summer of 1997. Not reported until January 1998. Suffered horrifying abuse, neglect and deprivation before his disappearance, and is thought to have been murdered by his father. No charges have been filed against anyone in his case.

Michelle Pulsfier, 3, missing from Huntington Beach, California sometime in July 1969. Not reported for OVER THIRTY YEARS — not for lack of trying on the part of her father, but because Mom, who had custody, packed up and moved in a tearing hurry and insisted Michelle wasn’t really missing. Thought to be murdered by her mother and her mother’s boyfriend. Both were charged with murder, but the boyfriend died before trial and Mom was tried twice and got a hung jury both times before prosecutors gave up.

Logan Nathaniel Bowman, 5, missing from Galax, Virginia since January 7, 2003. Not reported until January 23. Thought to be murdered by Mom and BF. (Notice a pattern here?) Mom pleaded guilty to child abuse, got fifteen years and testified at BF’s murder trial, but the charges were dismissed midway through; he was only convicted of child neglect, and got a year.

Aron Silverman, 17, missing from Norfolk, Virginia since June 5, 1993. Not reported for weeks because of his history as a runaway. Still classified as a runaway, but seventeen years is a very long time to be silent.

Karen Beth Kamsch, 14, missing from Pasadena, Maryland since the winter of 1976. Supposedly a report was filed in 1976, but there’s no evidence to support that, and the only known report was filed in 2007, TWENTY-NINE YEARS LATER. Foul play suspected, probably at the hands of family. No news in this case for the past three years.

Adam Herrman, 11 or 12, missing from Towanda, Kansas since sometime in late spring or early summer 1999. Not reported for TEN YEARS. Adoptive parents suspected. I’ve blogged extensively about this case.

Alexandria Suleski, 5, missing from Radcliff, Kentucky since October 23, 1989. Not reported for three days. Her father and stepmother were convicted of her murder in 1994.

Brianna Maitland, 17, missing from Montgomery, Vermont since March 19, 2004. Not reported for four days because she lived with a roommate and her roommate thought she was staying at her parents’ home. Foul play suspected.

Emily Machado, 2, missing from Berwyn, Illinois since March 14, 2008. Abducted by her non-custodial mother. Her father tried to report her missing, but the police wouldn’t accept a report for six months because she was with her mother. Emily’s parents never married and although her father had established paternity, it seems he didn’t have custody rights when Emily disappeared. He has now been awarded full custody.

Brenda Crowley, 16, missing from New York, New York since February or March 1980. Mom lied to the family about filing a missing persons report. We may never know why, because Mom died in 1981 — she was murdered by a man she knew in an unrelated incident. The lie wasn’t discovered until 1994 and Brenda’s sister filed a report at that time.

Nicole Bryner, 3, missing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania since March 9, 1982. Not reported until March 11. Mom said she was kidnapped, but it later came out that her BF had killed Nicole and they’d buried the body and concocted the story together. BF confessed in 1986, but the charges were dropped for lack of evidence. Mom died in 2001. In 2006, BF was charged with homicide again in Nicole’s case and this time he pleaded to involuntary manslaughter.

James Higham, 16, missing from Youngstown, Ohio since January 3, 2002. Not reported for 28 days. James had mental and emotional problems and was homeschooled and living with foster parents with some loose connections to his family. The foster parents, who said he’d run away, were charged with neglect for waiting so long to report him missing. In 2007, foster mom confessed that she and foster dad had drowned James, dismembered the body and distributed the parts to various dumpsters. She pleaded to child endangerment and got four years. Foster dad pleaded to reckless homicide and got seven years.

Marlon Santos, 5 months, missing from Worcester, Massachusetts since November 5, 1998. Not reported for two days. His foster parents said they were too busy. Uh-huh. Foster parents are the prime suspects in Marlon’s case. No charges have been filed in that case, but the foster father later went to jail for sexually abusing other children.

Pilar Rodriguez, 3, missing from Hollywood, Florida since January 30, 1999. Not reported until February 22. Pilar’s father had let her go on vacation with her babysitter for a few weeks and he filed the reported after they didn’t come back. Babysitter said she witnessed her BF murder Pilar. In 2010, babysitter was charged with manslaughter by “culpable negligence,” meaning she failed to prevent Pilar’s death at the hands of someone else. BF has not been charged.

Mary Kitts, 17, missing from Fresno, California since sometime in July 1974. Not reported until November because her parents thought she’d run away. Mary had actually been murdered by a “friend” at the direction of another “friend.” The actual killer pleaded to second-degree murder and is probably out of prison now, though I’m not sure what sentence he got. The instigator got life and was later executed after he ordered the murders of some of the witnesses against him.

Mark Martin, 2, missing from Hazel Park, Michigan since August 31, 1981, along with his mother, Carolyn. Not reported until the spring of 1982. Mark, Carolyn and her BF (Mark’s father) were moving to Texas together. BF later came back alone and said Carolyn had changed her mind and he’d let her and Mark out of the car in Ohio. No charges filed, but foul play is suspected.

Walter Ackerson, 17, missing from Nye Beach, Oregon since March 24, 1990. Not reported until April 16. He was in the Job Corps at the time. His mom asked the Job Corps to report him missing and they said they would, but they didn’t really and she didn’t find out for three weeks. In 2010, one of Walter’s former Job Corps “friends” was charged with his murder.

Rocio Sperry, 15, missing from Colorado Springs, Colorado since November 10, 1987. Not reported until November 14. She was married and had a baby, and her husband and baby were in Florida at the time of her disappearance. He reported her missing upon his return home. In 2006, the serial killer Robert Browne pleaded guilty to Rocio’s murder.

Michelle Giusti, 1 year, missing from Port Townsend, Washington since March 5, 1963. Not reported for four days, for unclear reasons. She disappeared with her mother, Sharon, and ten-month-old sister, Clara (have no pic and therefore no link for Clara). Their car was later found abandoned. Little evidence is available in their case but their disappearances are considered suspicious.

Monique Daniels, 15, missing from Moore, Oklahoma since June 2, 1992. Not reported for eighteen months. Her mom and stepdad said they didn’t report it because they thought she had run away and would come back on her own; other relatives finally filed the report. There is evidence that the stepfather tried to cover up Monique’s disappearance, and foul play is possible in her case.

Christopher Szczepanik, 7, missing from Omaha, Nebraska since mid-December 2009. Not reported until January 8. He disappeared with his parents Vanderlei and Jaqueline, and they weren’t missed initially because it was Christmas vacation and everyone thought the family had just gone on a trip. It’s considered very suspicious, and some of the family’s employees were charged with using their credit cards after their disappearances.

Ta’Niyah Leonard, 11 months, missing from Bartow, Florida since October 19, 2002. Not reported until a day later. (This may not seem like an “extended time period” but come on, she was a BABY.) Each parent has said the other one killed the baby (though this didn’t stop them from hooking up and later producing another baby, which was immediately put in foster care) and the authorities can’t figure out which is the guilty party.

Princess Perez, 2, missing from New York, New York since June 15, 1996. Not reported until 1998. Mom said Dad killed Princess; Dad said Princess died of natural causes and he decided to hide the body instead of report it. No criminal charges have been filed, though Dad was charged in family court with abusing his other children by murdering Princess in their presence.

Jody Ledkins, 14, missing from Kansas City, Missouri since May 23, 1985. Not reported until 1987. Jody was on probation at the time of her disappearance and her mom told the probation officer she was missing. The probation officer filed something like a PINS warrant (person in need of supervision), meaning the police should detain Jody if they came across her. Mom assumed this meant a missing persons report had been filed; not so. The mistake was not corrected for two years. Foul play is suspected.

Olisa Williams, 10 months, missing from Ann Arbor, Michigan sometime in June 1982. Most agencies give the date of disappearance as February 8, 1983 — perhaps that was the date it was reported, I’m not sure, I just know her disappearance was not reported right away. Her father is believed to have either killed her, sold her or given her away. No charges filed.

Barbara Cotton, 15, missing from Williston, North Dakota since April 11, 1981. Not reported for several days because they thought she’d run away. Foul play is now suspected. The prime suspect is a former boyfriend, but he is now dead. I don’t have anything else on this case.

Andrew Thompson, 8, and his brother Everett Thompson Jr., 11, missing from Chicago, Illinois since July 5, 1996. They disappeared with their parents, Everett Sr. and Lydia. Not reported for twelve days, because the entire family was gone. Lydia’s brother is the prime suspect. Foul play is suspected.

Barry Brown, 6, and his siblings Sheketah, 10, and Brandon, 2, missing from Port St. Lucie, Florida since July 25, 1985. Not reported until August. They disappeared with their mother, Carolyn, and, initially, their father, James. The older Browns were teachers and since they vanished during summer vacation, it wasn’t immediately noticed. It transpired that James had killed his entire family and disposed of their bodies in different locations. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity in late 1985 and hospitalized until 1996, when he moved to a halfway house. He was released into the community in 1997. No word on what’s happened since, although it appears his mental illness is not fully controlled.

Brittany Williams, 7, missing from Richmond, Virginia since August 18, 2000. Not reported until January 2003. Brittany had AIDS and was living with a foster mother, Kim Parker, who specialized in caring for HIV-infected children. Parker covered up the disappearance by saying she’d sent Brittany to stay with friends. In 2003, she was sentenced to eight years in prison for fraud, for accepting state and federal aid for Brittany after Brittany was no longer with her. They think she’s guilty of a lot more than that, though.

Garnell Moore, 7, missing from Baltimore, Maryland since sometime in August 2002. Not reported until June 2005. Garnell’s parents were not part of his life and he appears to have been passed around to various apathetic relatives. It seems to be a situation where everyone thought he was with someone else, until they all got together and realized he wasn’t with any of them and come to think of it, they hadn’t seen him in a very long time. You can’t say Garnell fell through the cracks of the system, because he was never in the system in the first place — never enrolled in school, never under any kind of social services supervision. What happened to him is anyone’s guess, though I’d be looking hard at his aunt, who is the last person known to have had him.

Qua’mere Rogers, 2, missing from Syracuse, New York since sometime in July 2007. Not reported for two years. Dad, who was Qua’mere’s only caregiver, claims he gave him to a strange man who promised to keep in touch and then didn’t. Dad was charged with child abandonment, but that was dropped.

Rilya Wilson, 4, missing from Miami, Florida since January 18, 2001. Not reported until April 2002. The famous case everyone’s heard of, which exposed the weeping wounds in Florida’s foster care system. Rilya’s foster mom claimed someone claiming to be a social worker took Rilya away. The story was untrue and the ruse went undiscovered for over a year because the actual social worker who was supposed to be checking up on Rilya was not doing so and falsifying records to make it look as if she had. Foster mom was charged with murder in 2005, but she has yet to go to trial and frankly, the case looks very weak. I don’t doubt the woman killed Rilya, but can they prove it?

Rene Romero, 4, missing from Reno, Nevada since November 28, 1994. Not reported for some time — I’m not sure how long, months at least. His mom and her BF made like Michelle Pulsifer’s parents and up and moved so no one would notice Rene was gone. Mom pleaded guilty to Rene’s murder and the BF was convicted at trial. Each one had accused the other.

Alexia Reale, 5, missing from Elk Grove, California since May or June 1997. Not reported until the autumn of that year. Alexia’s mother and stepfather forced her and her sister to drink bleach and subjected them to other abuse and, when Alexia died, they burned her body. They covered up the disappearance by saying Alexia had gone to live with her biological father, and the terrified sister went along with the story for months until a teacher noticed the signs of abuse and the police got involved. Then the story came out. Both of Alexia’s parents were convicted of murder and child abuse in 2000.

Christina Richart, 14, missing from Ozark, Arkansas since the summer of 1999. Not reported for six years. Christina lived with her aunt and uncle, who covered up her disappearance by saying she’d gone to California to live with another relative. The deception wasn’t discovered until 2005, although in the meantime one of Christina’s brothers was removed from the home due to abuse allegations. Authorities believe the aunt drowned Christina, but so far the only criminal charges against the couple have been for making false statements to the police.

Aarone Thompson, 6, missing from Aurora, Colorado since around 2003 or so. Not reported until November 2005, when her dad and stepmom tried to claim she’d run away from home after a family argument. Their story collapsed as it became increasingly clear that Aarone wasn’t living in their home and hadn’t been there in a long time. It seems that one caregiver or the other killed the child and then covered it up. Unfortunately the stepmother died before she could face charges, but Dad was convicted of child abuse resulting in death in 2009.

UPDATE: Whoops, forgot a few. I knew I would.

Ke’Shaun Vanderhorst, 2, missing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania since September 25, 1995. Not reported until October 13. Mom said he’d been taken away by the state and her family bought that story for awhile, until an aunt became suspicious and went to the police. Mom was a crack addict who’d already lost custody of two sons. Four other children died in infancy in the 1980s, all supposedly of natural causes. Ke’Shaun was born in prison. Mom told several different stories to explain his disappearance, including one where she sold him to a woman and another where he was kidnapped. She was jailed for child endangerment in 1996; no other charges related to this case were filed.

Logan Tucker, 6, missing from Woodward, Oklahoma since June 23, 2002. Not reported until July 7. Mom used the old “the state took him away” story and the lie held for awhile. In August 2007, Mom was convicted of Logan’s murder. The jury deliberated only two hours.