Unsolved Mysteries Volume 2, Episode 6: Stolen Kids
The final episode of the season opens with a mom talking about living life with a missing child. She says there is a lot of hurt, anger, agony and unanswered questions. She would not wish this on anyone.
After the intro, reporter Mary Murphy talks about life in NYC during the 1980s. A woman named Rosa Glover chimes in, saying there were a lot of drugs in the area at the time.
Retired NYPD Inspector Ken Lindhal recalls moving to the city in 1989. He says while Harlem was a tough place, there were a lot of people trying to make a living. Harlem resident Valdree Mandley agrees, saying it was a close knit community. ‘
Allison Dansby, who is the mother of Christopher, one of the missing kids, says she and her family all used to live in the same building. She says it was good because she had two sons, Levon (Pancho) and Christopher (Choo Choo). Her sister Carolyn (the boys’ aunt) says she still calls Christopher Choo Choo.
The ladies recall them being close to him and how he would always light up when they would come into the room. They also recall him being at the park with them that fateful day when he disappeared. The kids were playing when they left him with their mother to go get snacks. Allison recalls his final I love you before he disappeared.
The ladies talk about the disappearance and how Christopher was the only one missing. They went to go look for him and recall the terror they felt. They called the cops Ken remembers how serious the situation became, as does Mary. The search began in all the towers. It was a lot of work, but Ken said it needed to be done. Allison remembers the dogs trying to pick up Christopher’s scent, which led them to Lenox and 110th, when they lost the scent. This is when Allison remembers fearing the worst. She also thinks he was probably crying and no one would notice because kids cry.
Christopher’s dad was questioned in case it was a custodial issue, but he was cleared right away because he was in Florida at the time. Allison was also questioned. She admitted she was an addict, but it had nothing to do with his disappearance. She felt a lot of shame and guilt. Carolyn felt bad because her family was being accused.
Rosa talks about her own son Shane disappearing from the same park just a few weeks later. She recalls how he was her special baby and that on that fateful day, she got him chips from the store and let him play. Two older kids wanted to play with him. She initially said no, but eventually let them play. She said a man sat next to her and when she turned her head and Shane was missing. She saw the kids, who said they just left him in the park. She began screaming and could not find him.
Ken says both cases have a lot of similarities, including time of day, the day of the week and how crowded it was in the park. They began to search and do interviews and get a tip that Shane was buried somewhere. However, it ended up being a false lead.
Rosa feels horrible since this is the first and only time she let other kids play with Shane. Ken considered the fact the random man on the bench or the kids were somehow involved, but they turned up clean.
Allison can emphasize with Rosa, since they are in the same situation.
Ken thinks the worst case is that a serial killer or pedophile was involved. Mary says the investigation stepped up and they looked into the possibility that the kids were sold. However, nothing ever surfaced.
Cops were in the houses, tapping phone lines for hope, but nothing ever happened.
Mary says the area was so packed that the kids disappearing was not exactly surprising. She thinks the kids are alive and taken by someone who was desperate to have a baby. Ken agrees this is a possibility as well.
Robert Lowery, VP of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, says it was remote, but miracles do happen. Mary and Robert bring up the Carlina White case, where a baby was kidnapped at 19 days old and raised with a kidnapped family.
Colin McNally, a forensic artist for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, says they have done over 7,000 age progressions since 1989. He works on some for Christopher and Shane, discussing the ease and complications of making them. These images have been made updated over the years, using pictures of family members and last known pictures of the kids.
Both ladies hold on to hope that they can find their children and mourn for the memories they missed out on. Ken also thinks there is hope with DNA searches and kids asking questions.
The show ends with the two boys, other missing children and age projected pictures, as well as where to send information.