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Help find missing children: A lesson from a lost-boy abducted in 1955

By       Message Mary MacElveen     Permalink
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As we all know the case of the long-lost boy from Long Island, NY is still a mystery when DNA evidence proved that John Barnes is not the child taken in front of a grocery store back in 1955.  I cannot even imagine the pain the Damman family has been put through where they are still wondering what ever happened to their son, and sibling.  What of the pain, Barnes put his own father through.  

According to the AP report filed on this story: “Richard Barnes, immediately dismissed the speculation as "a bunch of foolishness," and said John Barnes was born in a Navy hospital in Pensacola, Fla., on Aug. 18, 1955.” Yet out of a feeling of not fitting in with the family, John Barnes used the resources of the FBI in this DNA testing. 

As I cannot fathom the pain both families were put through, what I can fathom the media-hype this story has created in the past few days as Newsday ran multi-page articles concerning this lone case.  Yet, a community still wonders what happened to that little boy named Stephen Damman.  In light of the DNA testing which was still ongoing by the FBI at Quantico, perhaps the hype by the media should have been kept low-key until the test results came in. 

Maybe the lesson we should all gain from this lone-story is that each year many children in our country go missing and their families not knowing if they are dead or alive.  We see their faces on hand-outs, our local news as well as cable networks and on “America’s Most Wanted” hosted by John Walsh.  All I ask is that you pay attention.  Incidentally Fox tried to pull this show years ago due to low ratings, but a group of governors petitioned Fox to keep it on since they felt it invaluable to fighting crime.  Kudos to those governors. 

After Adam Walsh was snatched from Sears back in 1981, and according to Wikipedia: “Sixteen days after the abduction, his severed head was found in a drainage canal more than 120 miles away from home. His other remains were never recovered.” During the time of his disappearance his parents John and Revé’s mission was to find their little boy. I remember watching a movie based upon Adam’s abduction and what riled me was a statement made by Mr. Walsh and I will paraphrase him, it was far easier to find a missing car then a missing child and abducted child.  At that time, both local and federal data-bases kept track of stolen vehicles, not children. 

In hind-sight, perhaps if such a data-base been in place before Adam’s abduction and murder, the mystery of the Etan Patz case could have been solved.  He was abducted in Manhattan on May 25, 1979.  We shall never know. 

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I am a writer who currently writes pieces for my own blog http://www.mary-macelveen.blogspot.com I have been published by Buzzflash.com, TheLiberalPatriot.org and MikeHersh.com. I was a guest on the Jay Diamond Radio Show on WRKO in Boston and have (more...)
 

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