Stories of missing kids are unfortunately all too common. A report released by the FBI claimed there were 464,324 missing children reports in 2017 alone. Sadly, that’s probably a lower number than previous decades and doesn’t include the countless numbers of unreported missing children. When a child goes missing, it’s devastating for the parents, their communities, and the world at large. It creates an empty hole and a mystery begging to be solved. Even though we have programs like Amber Alerts to help find missing kids, too often children are abducted and don’t have happy endings. Every now and then, some of the stories are so odd and bizarre, it seems like the deeper you go, the more mysterious it becomes. Here are 25 Bizarre Stories Of Missing Kids.
Paul Joseph Fronczak
Stolen from a Chicago hospital when he was only a day old, this baby mysterious appeared in a stroller two years later and based on Paul’s description was reunited with his parents. Oddly enough, though, 40 years later, a DNA test proved the baby returned to the Fronczaks was not related to them.
This 15-year-old girl went missing for a full year until the police found her. It’s where they found her that’s truly bizarre – in her neighbor’s cupboard underneath the stairs. Her parents were even friends with the girl’s captor, Adam Gault. He had been using her and other girls to make pornographic videos and posting them on the internet.
This boy was last seen playing basketball in San Antonio, TX on June 13th, 1994. Three years later, a young man from Spain said he escaped a child slave ring and was Nicholas Barkley. Great, right? Trouble was this man wasn’t actually Nicholas but Frederic Bourdin, a conman who regularly impersonated missing children.
This two-year-old boy disappeared from his mother Melinda’s home in 2006 without a sign of struggle. Initially, fingers pointed at her husband, Josh, since they were embroiled in a divorce. However, it came to light that she had framed him by hacking into his email and making it look like he was involved. So, what happened to Trenton? No one knows, and his mother killed herself before authorities could get answers from her.
This seven-year-old boy was last seen giving a science presentation on frogs before he went missing while heading to another school class. Some suspected his mother, Terri, was involved in his kidnapping, considering six months earlier she’d hired a hit man to kill her own father and her testimonial statements were often conflicting and inconsistent.
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After having a huge argument with her parents at the age of fourteen, this young lady left her home and never returned. A missing person’s report had been filed but no one could find her. Turns out, for ten years she had been sleeping in internet cafes and playing the online game CrossFire. She said she made most of her money on donations and working at cafes. After hearing about her daughter’s safety, her mother said she would never scold her again.
This 13-year-old was abducted by his own father and kept behind a fake wall inside a space between the insulation and wooden beams for four years. He was beaten, humiliated, forced to work as a maid, and kept isolated from everyone. Eventually, he used a cell phone to connect to WiFi and friend requested his mother on Facebook. That triggered the authorities to come looking for him.
This young girl and her family immigrated from Ireland to Pennsylvania and settled in the countryside. However, in 1758, a tribe of Seneca warriors killed and scalped her family but kept her alive. Instead, they took her into their village where they adopted her as a sister. There she lived for years and when given the opportunity to reintegrate into European culture, she refused, staying instead with the Seneca.
Suzanne Marie Sevakis
In April 1990, Tonya Hughes was found dead on the side of the road, a victim of a hit and run. However, what people would later learn is her name wasn’t really Tonya Hughes but Suzanne Marie Sevakis, a missing child for over twenty years. As a child, she had been kidnapped and raised by fugitive Franklin Delano Floyd after her mother Sandra Chapman went to prison and her husband, Brandon Williams, abandoned her four kids, including Suzanne. For her entire life, Floyd and Sevakis went under several aliases with Floyd claiming she was his daughter. When she graduated high school, she changed her name again to Tonya Hughes and rather than being his daughter, she became his wife.
It’s not every day the person who finds the missing child is the missing child. In this case, this 35-year-old man went through a missing children’s website and was shocked to find his face on the list. His father had filed a missing child report three decades earlier because his mother kidnapped the boy and later put him in an orphanage under another name.
At the age of 13-years-old, this Japanese teenager was abruptly kidnapped in 1977 by North Korean agents and taken into their custody. She was just one of several Japanese citizens kidnapped in that time. During that time, she reportedly learned the Korean language, got married, and had a child. North Korea claims she killed herself in 1994, but her family doesn’t believe it. Her confirmed status is still unknown.
Timmothy James Pitzen
In 2011, Amy Fry-Pitzen picked up her five-year-old son, Timmothy, and randomly took him to the Brookfield Zoo and a waterpark in the Wisconsin Dells. Eventually, authorities discovered that she took her life at a Rockford Motel room. Timmothy was gone. She left a note that said her child is safe with people who cared for him, but that he’ll never be found. His status is still unknown.
On November 1997, around Thanksgiving time, this 5-month-old baby girl disappeared from her crib without any sign of struggle or a break-in, though the garage door was open and the front door unlocked. Her parents were prime suspects and were even arrested by the FBI but a judge threw-out their evidence, and the parents were released. In 2003, a girl named Sabrina was thought to be the missing girl but DNA evidence proved she wasn’t. To this day, she’s still missing.
This 14-year-old Australian went missing in 1998. She’d been gone for five years when someone came forward and confessed to her murder. Except, she wasn’t dead. In reality, she was found hiding out with her boyfriend whom she was forbidden to see.
This young boy went missing for 11-days, resulting in a massive police wide man-hunt in Detroit. Eventually, they found him in his own basement, forced to do grueling and extreme workouts by his father. If he was unruly and didn’t do what was required of him, his father would beat him with a PVC pipe.
On Christmas Eve, 1945, a fire blazed at the Sodder home in West Virginia, occupied by George Sodder, his wife, and nine of their ten children. Only George, his wife, and four of their children escaped the fire. The other five did not. Since then, a massive investigation went underway by both police authorities and the Sodder family. The Sodder family has always believed the children survived the event. Many mysterious events happened afterward, including getting a mysterious picture of one of the missing children as an adult.
On a vacation with her family in Portugal, this three-year-old disappeared from her hotel room while her parents were out dining at a restaurant. Portuguese police believed an accident caused Madeleine’s death and the parents tried to cover it up, but they didn’t have the evidence to prove it. Her whereabouts are still unknown.
While hiking with his father on the Big South Trail, this little boy was last seen alive speaking with some fisherman before losing track of his group and disappearing. No one knew what happened to him until four years later when his body was found up a very steep cliff. Even investigators struggled to get up the high rockface. While they concluded the young boy was likely killed by a mountain lion, the father, Allyn Atadero, disagrees and think foul play was involved.
A paperboy in West Des Moines, Iowa, this young teenager went out to deliver papers in 1982 and never returned. His parents grew frustrated with police who wouldn’t do an investigation until after 72 hours. Things only grew more weird from that point on. His mother, Noreen Gosch, claims Johnny was abducted by an organized pedophilia ring. After testifying at Congress against organized crime, she received death threats and later, three photos appeared on her doorstep, all of boys tied up and one she claims is her son. While he has yet to be found, his case unleashed the floodgates that helped bring more awareness to missing kids.
In 1938, this little girl was picking flowers with her eleven-year-old sister out in a field in Pennsylvania when her sister left her alone to go speak to their mother. When the sister returned, Marjorie vanished and wasn’t been seen again. A massive manhunt ensued with several leads turning up empty. Many still believe she was abducted either by a mysterious man who was seen with a little girl around the same time or that some of her other family took her to Canada.
This five-year-old was camping with his family in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park when he went missing, though some believe he drowned. He and his dad were bathing in the Roaring and Fall Rivers when he decided to go join his other family members 500 meters up river. However, when everyone returned to camp, they realized he was nowhere to be found. 100 Civilian Conservation Corps went looking for him to no avail. A little later, a couple claimed they saw a little boy resembling Alfred sitting in a place called The Devil’s Nest, 6 miles from his campsite.
This fifteen-year-old disappeared after falling in love with her 22-year-old boyfriend. Initially, her family and friends claimed she was regularly abused by the man and eventually drugged and abducted to Mexico. After nine years, she, her husband, and three children were discovered by Mexican missionaries and she re-made contact with her family. She spoke with police and said she willingly left to Mexico and was not drugged or abducted, despite her family’s claims.
After being abducted at the age of fourteen, this woman was locked in the bedroom of her high school security guard Thomas Hose and kept as a sex slave. For the first four years, she never saw the light of day and often had to use a metal can as a toilet. Hose’s son and parents were also living in the house but were unaware of her presence. She was kept as his slave for 10 years until she finally told a shopkeeper about it and was rescued.
This 12-year-old developmentally disabled boy was hiking in the Sierra with his family when he went missing. He was last seen throwing stones in a small stream in the Upper Truckee River Canyon. After nine days, authorities called off their search, but much later his body was found by a group of hikers in Carson Pass, three miles north of his last seen location.
This little boy had been eagerly anticipating his trip to Butlin’s Wonderwest theme park before disaster struck. While with his family, he mysteriously disappeared. The disappearance led to one of the largest searches in Scotland’s history. Several eyewitnesses claimed to see a man holding a distraught boy’s hand as they left the theme park, but it wasn’t enough to give the police any leads. Eventually, his body was found just outside the 6-mile search area in very rough and marshy terrain. Making things more bizarre, authorities found no sign of foul play, injury, or violence, indicating he died of exposure. Also, his socks were taken off and put in his back pockets while he still wore his shoes. His family insists he was abducted but authorities, believing the cause of death was natural, called off the investigation.