Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Has Missing Child Steven Damman Turned Up 54 Years After His Disappearance? Unfortunately Not.
Missing kids do turn up alive. Sometimes it just takes time. For example, more than a half-century after toddler Steven Damman was snatched in New York, he apparently has surfaced, alive and well. For over fifty years, Steven's parents Jerry and Marilyn Damman wondered what happened to their 2-year-old son. Steven Damman and his sister disappeared from outside a Long Island bakery in 1955. His baby sister was found just around the corner. But Steven vanished.
John Barnes, a 56 year old Michigan man, has come forward and claims that he is the missing child previously known as Steven Damman. He claims that he has credible evidence that would link him to the missing boy. The Michigan man's identity is believed to be John Barnes. The FBI is conducting DNA testing. Preliminary DNA results did not rule out the relationship. Thus expectations are very high. Final DNA testing will either confirm the match or return the family back to square one. In the mean time, Jerry Damman is a 78 year old parent who lives in Newton, Iowa. He is anxiously awaiting confirmation that he once again has a son. Jerry and Marilyn apparently divorced in 1957. Steven had a scar on the chin and an arm fracture as a two year old. Such findings on John Barnes (if present) should have provided clues even back in the 50's.
John Barnes apparently grew up thinking he didn't look like the family that raised him. He apparently began researching missing persons cases and thus learned about the Steven Damman disappearance. He apparently has been seen by who he believes is his baby sister Pam. Pam apparently thinks he looks like her dad, Jerry. John Barnes thinks he looked like his mom when they were both 21 years old. Let's hope DNA matches and there is a happy family reunion.
Update 6-19-09: The DNA tests are back early. No happy ending on this one. DNA test results reveal that John Robert Barnes is not the Long Island, New York, boy who went missing 54 years ago. Steven Damman remains an unsolved vanishing. DNA samples from Barnes and Pam Horne (Steven Damman's sister) analyzed by the FBI Lab in Quantico, Virginia, determined that they do not share the same mother. (Does that mean they could share the same Dad? After all, it is almost Father's Day!)
7-16-09: After a moment of public attention, the case once again slips back into the cold files...