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Entries in Missing Boy (10)

Wednesday
Aug222012

Kyron Horman's Stepmother Called 'Prime Suspect' by Judge

Kyron Horman has been missing since 2010. (ABC News)(NEW YORK) -- The stepmother of missing Oregon boy Kyron Horman was called a "prime suspect" in his disappearance by a judge who ruled a $10 million civil suit against the woman could proceed.

The opinion was issued in the civil case filed by Desiree Young, Kyron's birth mother, against his stepmother Terri Horman.

Terri Horman will not be required to answer any questions in the civil suit, since there is an ongoing criminal investigation into the boy's disappearance.

"The defendant is a prime suspect in the investigation," Circuit Court Judge Henry Kantor wrote, explaining his decision to allow the case to proceed while allowing Horman to avoid a deposition that could potentially incriminate her in the criminal investigation.

But the judge said he believed the civil case could not be delayed.

"Witnesses and evidence may disappear. Memories may fade. The opportunity to find Kyron, alive or dead, lessens," Kantor wrote.

Young has said she believes Horman knows what happened to her son, who was 7 at the time of his disappearance in 2010.

"I believe that Terri Horman knows where Kyron is. I believe that Terri Horman is responsible for where my son is," Young said in June after she filed the civil suit.

Police have also have indicated there are discrepancies in Terri Horman's account of what happened on the morning of June 4, 2010, when Kyron disappeared, however she has not been named a formal suspect.

Horman admitted to hating her 7-year-old stepson, police said.

Kyron disappeared after his stepmother attended a school science fair where her stepson had displayed a project on red tree frogs.

She said she last saw Kyron walking down a hallway toward his classroom.

When Kyron didn't come home on the bus that Friday afternoon, his parents called the school, which in turn called 911, launching one of the largest search operations ever in Oregon.

Police have since spent more than 28,000 man hours searching for Kyron.

The missing boy's father, Kaine Horman, has since filed for divorce from Horman after being told she had allegedly tried to hire someone to kill him.

Terri Horman has released only brief statements through her attorney that she did not have anything to do with Kyron's disappearance.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr232012

Etan Patz: Search Ends with No Evidence of 6-Year-Old Boy

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The latest chapter in the 33-year search for Etan Patz -- the digging up of a basement in New York City's SoHo District -- has ended with no human remains found and only a few reeds of possible evidence collected from the hundreds of pounds of debris now packed into dumpsters.

The bits of material -- some human hair, but not blonde hair like that of the young boy, and a possible blood stained bit of cinder block -- are being sent to the FBI forensic lab in Quantico, Va.

And Monday, according to authorities, will be a day for winding down the operation on Prince Street.

After Sunday's digging was suspended at around 3 p.m., authorities met with the Patz family to inform them of the outcome of the search.  They were told what had been found, and what, significantly, had not been found: human remains or other clear evidence that their son had been inside that basement prior to his disappearance.

Patz was six when he disappeared on the morning of May 25, 1979, soon after leaving his parents' apartment at 113 Prince St., the first time he was to walk to the school bus stop by himself.  The boy's 1979 disappearance sparked a citywide search that decades later led authorities back to handyman Othniel Miller's small basement workshop, this time to excavate it after cadaver dogs detected the smell of human remains.

The possible evidence was discovered in the basement that was once used as a kids' play area, which doubled as the workspace of Miller, now 75.  He was seen with Patz the night before he disappeared, according to authorities.

Miller has not been named a suspect in the Patz disappearance, but he has been questioned.

Since the boy's disappearance, a man named Jose Ramos, who is a convicted child molester, has been considered the prime suspect, although he has denied any connection.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr192012

New Search for New York Boy Who Vanished 33 Years Ago

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Federal investigators and New York City police are preparing on Thursday to dig beneath the streets near a Manhattan apartment building where 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared 33 years ago.

The search for Patz has been one of the largest, longest lasting and most heart wrenching hunts for a missing child in the country's recent history.

Investigators are also reexamining the decades old assumption that Patz was abducted by convicted pedophile Jose Ramos.  Ramos, now in prison for an unrelated case, was never charged with Patz's abduction.

The dig underway on Thursday is related to another person, a carpenter who had befriended the boy.  The carpenter's name had surfaced in earlier investigations, but he had never been targeted as a suspect.

The carpenter's shop was at or near the location of Thursday's search.

Patz vanished on May 25, 1979 in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan while walking alone to a school bus stop.

He became the first missing child whose face appeared on the side of a milk carton.

The case had been dormant until Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. reopened the case in 2010.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov152011

Police 'Watching' Sky Metalwala's Mom as Possible Flight Risk

Bellevue Police(BELLEVUE, Wash.) -- Washington police investigating the disappearance of 2-year-old Sky Metalwala said they are keeping an eye on the boy's mother in case she tries to leave the country.

Sky was last seen on Nov. 6 while in the custody of his mother, Julia Biryukova, a Ukranian woman who emigrated from Russia when she was 12.

Police in Bellevue, Wash., have been openly skeptical of Biryukova's story that she was driving her two children to a hospital when she ran out of gas.  She allegedly walked with her 4-year-old daughter to a gas station, but when she returned to her car Sky was gone.

"We're not comfortable calling her a person of interest or a suspect.  So I suppose if she did intend to make travel plans it would be something we'd want to know about and discuss with her," Bellevue police Maj. Mike Johnson said Monday.

"It is something that's on our radar.  We're watching for that," Johnson said.

The officer also did not rule out a theory that Biryukova, who is in a bitter custody battle with her husband Solomon, may be trying to smuggle her son out of the country.

"There's a lot of work going on to rule out possible theories of abduction, coercion, the element of custody battle between mom and dad, secreting him outside the country, all of these are viable theories," Johnson said.

Solomon Metalwala said Monday on ABC's Good Morning America that he believes the boy's disappearance is related to a court decision granting him visitation rights.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Oct162011

Vigils Held for Missing Maryland Boy Whose Mother Was Murdered

Hemera/Thinkstock(GERMANTOWN, Md.) -- Teammates, friends and neighbors of a missing Germantown, Md., boy whose mother was beaten to death held vigils Friday night, hoping that 11-year-old William McQuain will be found alive.

The boy has been missing since Sept. 30, and his mother, Jane McQuain, 51, was found Wednesday night, stabbed and beaten to death in their condominium.

McQuain's estranged husband was arrested and charged with her murder, but police have not been able to find William.

"I just want him to come home safe with no injuries," William's teammate Joey Lincoln said. "And if you know where you are please let him come home."

Outside Martin Luther King Middle School in Germantown, youth ministers, classmates and teachers gathered with candles in hand, to pray for the boy's safe return.

"As a mom of three little girls, I think it's very important since Jane has no voice anymore for William, that we be the voice for her and not let him just vanish," ministry leader Brandi Page said.

"I was telling my boys if they were missing I would want people to come out and do the same kind of thing, so I brought them out," church member Darren Petrie said.

Even though Curtis Maurice Lopez, Jane McQuain's estranged husband, was arrested in Charlotte, N.C., just hours after the woman's body was found, police said they still have no clear leads in their search for William McQuain.

The last possible sightings of the 11-year-old, who is described as a light-skinned, bi-racial boy, about 5 feet tall and 85 pounds, were the weekend of Oct. 1-2, police said.

Officials at Martin Luther King Elementary School, where William is a sixth-grader, said he attended and left school on Friday, Sept. 30.

Lopez, 45, was arrested Thursday at a Charlotte, N.C., Econolodge and charged with first-degree murder of his estranged wife, Jane McQuain "on the strength of a Maryland warrant," said Starks, adding that Lopez's arraignment hasn't been scheduled yet.

He was driving the vehicle owned by McQuain, William's mother.

"Our priority, our focus right now, is to locate William McQuain. We were hoping that we find him with Mr. Lopez, and we did not," Thomas Manger, Montgomery County police chief, told ABC's 20/20.

Lopez is an ex-felon, and had been incarcerated in Pennsylvania.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Aug132011

Update: Boy Scout Jarod Ropelato Found in Utah Wilderness

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images(SALT LAKE CITY) -- Boy Scout Jared Ropelato, who disappeared Friday in Utah's Ashley National Forest, was found Saturday about five miles from where he went missing, the local sheriff announced.

Jared, 12, was found by searchers on ATV's near the head gate to Long's Park canal, according to a statement from the Dagget County Sheriff's Office.

Despite being lost in the rough terrain for more than 20 hours, Jared was found to be in good health by EMTs who examined him at the search command post.

The resourceful Boy Scout built himself a lean-to to sleep in and and help himself stay warm when temperatures dipped into the 40s overnight, sheriff's office spokeswoman Karen Peterson said.

Jared Ropelato, 12, of Hooper, Utah, went missing Friday around noon local time as his troop fished in Utah's Ashley National Forest.

Ropelato, of Hooper, Utah, went missing around noon on Friday after separating from his troop during a fishing trip in a wooded area near Daggett Lake and Spirit Lake, officials said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Aug132011

Boy Scout Jarod Ropelato Still Missing in Utah Wilderness

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(SALT LAKE CITY) -- The search for missing Boy Scout Jared Ropelato resumed early Saturday morning in Utah's Ashley National Forest, with volunteers fanning out at dawn along with search and rescue teams.

So far, searchers have seen no trace of Ropelato, 12, of Hooper, Utah, who went missing around noon Friday after separating from his troop during a fishing trip in a wooded area near Daggett Lake and Spirit Lake, officials said.

"At some point, he either went to get some lures or wandered away from the lake," Karen Peterson, a spokeswoman for the Daggett County Sheriff's Office in Manila, Utah, told ABC News Radio, "and they discovered him missing around 12."

After 20 or more searchers scoured the area accessible only on foot or by horseback for much of the day Friday, searchers got back at it early Saturday.

"We've got people coming in on horseback," Peterson said. "We've got at least eight to nine K9 teams."

The weather appeared to be cooperating.

"It is a nice day," Peterson said. "Right now, up in that area, it's about 57 degrees and it will probably get into the 80s lower down."

Late into the night, searchers hunted for any sign of Ropelato.

As afternoon turned into night, his anxious parents worried he may not be prepared for a night alone in the woods—no backpack, no warm clothes, just his early scout training.

"We don't go very much with him to the outdoors," said his father, Larry Ropelato, "so he's not real familiar."

However, Jared is the youngest of five brothers, all dedicated to scouting. The four oldest are Eagle Scouts.

"I know he knows all the scout laws," said Dawn Ropelato, Jared's mother. "I hope that as he realized he was lost that he was smart enough to think about the things he's been taught."

Their mother, like the rest of the family, believes Jared will be found and will continue his family's scouting tradition.

"I do have faith that he'll be able to put this on again and earn his eagle and learn," she said. "I'm sure he's learned something from this."

She said her son probably is "probably pretty sad and scared. But I also believe that he does know to pray and he does believe in a father in heaven."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May192011

Texas Mom Charged in Death of Son, 6, Found in Maine

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(PORTSMOUTH, N.H.) -- In a blue jumpsuit and shackles, 42-year-old Julianne McCrery appeared in Portsmouth, N.H. District Court on Thursday to face charges in the death of her son, six-year-old Camden Hughes. The boy's body was found dumped on a dirt road in rural Maine a week ago.

McCrery kept her head down, blinking back tears as the prosecutor read charges that included "knowingly causing the death of Camden Hughes by asphyxiation" and "causing a death with extreme indifference to human life."

The judge asked if McCrery wanted to have an attorney appointed by the state, and she replied "Yes, ma'am." As she was being led away, flanked by two New Hampshire state troopers, the Texas mother broke down sobbing. McCrery will be held without bail until a probable cause hearing on May 26.

Earlier in the day, McCrery appeared in a Massachusetts courtroom on fugitive from justice charges. She pled not guilty. Her court-appointed attorney in Massachusetts, George Murphy, told reporters that his client "loves her son and wanted to be with him in heaven." Murphy said he believes his client is suicidal and has said she wants to die.

When the body of the young boy was found clothed and abandoned on a rural road in Maine on May 14, the discovery puzzled investigators. Nobody filed a missing persons report for the boy and a scan of missing persons databases turned up no leads.

Days after the body was discovered, an eyewitness came forward and reported seeing a truck driven by a woman with a license plate that carried a Navy insignia in the area shortly before the body was discovered. It was the first real lead law enforcement had in the case. On Wednesday, a truck fitting that description was spotted at a Chelmsford, Mass., rest stop and McCrery was taken into custody.

McCrery is from Texas. An online listing for McCrery shows she self-published a book about how to fall asleep called Good Night, Sleep Tight. In her author's bio she described herself as a former school bus driver and cement mixer.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May182011

Mystery Maine Boy: Woman Confesses to Killing Son, Dumping Body

Comstock/Thinkstock(CHELMSFORD, Mass.) -- A Texas woman has confessed to killing and dumping her son's body along a rural road in Maine, sources told ABC News.

The 6-year-old boy, Camden Pierce Hughes, was dumped by Julianne McCrery. McCrery told police that she accidentally gave her son too much cough syrup, the sources said.

The woman who is being questioned in connection with the case has been taken to a local hospital for a medical evaluation and has not been charged with a crime, said David Procopio, director of communications for Massachusetts State Police.

"She remains in the care and custody of Massachusetts State Police. ... I'm not confirming any ages and names," Procopio said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. Procopio declined to identify the woman or the boy and referred reporters to the New Hampshire State Attorney's office. He also declined to say why New Hampshire authorities were in charge of the investigation.

Juliane McCrery was found in a blue Toyota Tacoma truck at a rest stop off 495 in Chelmsford, Mass., on Wednesday. A female Massachusetts state trooper approached McCrery and asked if she needed assistance. The woman, who is in her 40s, responded: "I killed my son. I want to kill myself." She was taken into custody at the Concord State Police barracks.

State Police officials confirmed that they are questioning the woman in connection with the discovery of the boy's body, which was found fully-clothed under a green fleece blanket on Dennettt Road in South Berwick, Maine on Saturday.

Investigators have been hunting for a woman driving a blue pickup truck since Saturday when the boy's body was found on Dennett Road in South Berwick, Maine.

The mystery of who dumped the boy has puzzled investigators. Nobody filed a missing persons report for the boy. A scan of missing persons databases turned up no leads.

A passerby who lives in the neighborhood discovered the boy's body. Police won't say if the body, between the ages of 4 and 8, showed signs of trauma.

The State Police Computer Crimes Unit produced a computer-generated photo of the unidentified boy. The boy was 3 feet 8 inches tall and weighed 45 pounds. He had dirty blond hair and blue eyes. His baby teeth had yet to fall out.

The death has been deemed suspicious, and investigators have not ruled out homicide.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jan302011

Closure in Case of Missing Oregon Boy Kyron Horman?

Photo Courtesy - U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- Oregon police were searching two spots in Portland's West Hills on Sunday at the request of the Kyron Horman Task Force, in an effort officials and family say may bring "closure" to the case of the 8-year-old who has been missing for more than eight months.

Speaking with ABC News Portland affiliate KATU, Desiree Young, Kyron's biological mother, said she has been anticipating the search and the closure that it could bring to the case of her son, who went missing from a school science fair he attended with his stepmother, Terri Horman.

"I have been waiting for this search to happen for some time now," Young told KATU. "The Kyron Horman Task Force has shared the intelligence information with me, but unfortunately I can't share that information with the media. I'm excited that today's search will hopefully bring some closure to this case."

Roughly 50 search-and-rescue workers, along with up to seven cadaver-detecting dogs were searching the dense forests and gated logging roads around the West Hills. The search group also notably includes a member of Multnomah County coroner's office, a new addition to the search, KATU reported.

The decision to search the two locations Sunday was reportedly based on investigative leads developed by the Kyron Horman Task Force.

Kyron disappeared on the morning of June 4, after he and his stepmother, Terri Horman, attended a school science fair where Kyron had displayed a project on red tree frogs. Terri Horman said she last saw Kyron walking down a hallway toward his classroom.

Kyron's father, birth mother and the police have all pointed fingers at the boy's stepmother, Terri Horman, but she has not been charged or even named a person of interest. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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