Twelve-year-old John Colonna Aponte and his eleven-year-old sister Giannina disappeared from Puerto Rico thirty-eight years ago. Until now, I had next to nothing on them — and I still don’t have a decent LE contact number. But thanks to a link (in Spanish) which a helpful stranger sent me today, I now know a lot more:
It looks like the children were kidnapped for a 72k ransom, and something went wrong with it, or maybe the kidnappers never intended ransom in the first place. Eight months after they vanished, a guy in Miami killed himself and left a note, implicating himself in the plot.
Interpol, which is apparently investigating the case, did genetic testing using Maria’s blood, some of the children’s baby teeth, and DNA taken from the father’s exhumed body. and the results indicate that John and Giannina were not the biological children of their mother’s husband. The husband, John Colonna, died in 1982. The mother, Naomi, is still alive and quite indignant, insisting that the children most definitely WERE John Sr.’s and it’s quite impossible that they weren’t.
There was a possible explanation for this raised in the comments: John died of cancer. Perhaps, during his treatment for the cancer, he had blood transfusions, and perhaps that messed with the genetic testing results. I have no idea whether this could happen or not, but it sounds possible. Of course, the children’s paternity might well be completely irrelevant anyway.
So now Mom’s having them declared legally dead. She’s 73 years old and has breast cancer. And there the matter rests.
In an aside, another puzzling Puerto Rican case: Michelle Delfi-Feliciano, a four-year-old who disappeared from her front yard in 1992. “It has been established that Michelle was in the company of a family acquaintance sometime after her initial disappearance. The individual has since returned to Puerto Rico, but Michelle has not been located. It is believed that the child may be in a Puerto Rican community in Massachusetts, New York or Florida. Her family has ties to those regions of the country. She may also be in the Dominican Republic.” Um…what?