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Steven Damman--Missing--10/31/55 New York

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Nov 9 05 12:24 PM

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Steven Craig Damman

Missing since October 31, 1955 from East Meadow, N"DorkFish"au County, New York.

Cl"DorkFish"ification: Missing

Vital Statistics

Date Of Birth: December 1952
Age at Time of Disappearance: 2 years old
Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 3'2"; 32 lbs.

Distinguishing Characteristics: White male. Blonde hair; blue eyes.

Marks, Scars: Small scar under chin. Healed fracture on left arm. Molelike birthmark on back of right calf.

Medical Conditions: Steven had been under treatment for a kidney growth at the time he went missing.

Other: Footprints available

Circumstances of Disappearance

Steven Damman's mother left her home in East Meadow, New York on October 31, 1955 to go to a supermarket a block and a half away.

She had her son Steven, age 34 months and her daughter Pamela, age 7 months with Pamela strapped into a baby carriage with her. She left her daughter in the carriage out in front of the store with her son standing beside it while she did her shopping. When she came back ten minutes later, both the carriage and her children were gone.

Her daughter and the carriage were later recovered unharmed by a family friend a block and a half away.

Despite a m"DorkFish"ive search involving more than a thousand persons, Steven was never seen again.


If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

N"DorkFish"au County Police Department
Missing Persons Section

NCIC Number: Not Entered

Doe Network
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Nov 9 05 12:27 PM

Details of Disappearance

Damman was last seen at a supermarket in East Meadow, Long Island, New York on October 31, 1955. The establishment was a block and a half from his home; he had gone there with his mother and baby sister.

Damman's mother left him and his sister, who was in a carriage, outside the supermarket for a few minutes while she shopped. When she came out, both children were gone. Damman's sister was recovered still inside her carriage a few blocks away but Damman has never been heard from again.

In late November 1955, a student at Queens College in New York City wrote three letters demanding money from Damman's parents in exchange for the toddler's safe return. Each letter asked for a larger amount: first $3,000, then $10,000, then $14,000. Damman's parents attempted to comply, but the student turned out to be an opportunist who had nothing to do with Damman's presumed abduction.

It was suggested that Damman might be the "Boy in the Box" or "America's Unknown Child," a small boy who was found dead inside a cardboard box in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1957. They both were blond and blue-eyed and both had the same scars, but the unidentified boy did not have a healed arm fracture as Damman had and Damman's footprints, taken when he was a baby, did not match the Philadelphia child. In 2003, the police compared the unidentified boy's DNA with DNA from Damman's sister to make sure, and conclusively proved that Damman was not the Boy in the Box. The child remains unidentified in spite of a major investigative effort that continues today.

Damman is originally from Iowa; his father was in the Air Force in 1955 and the family was stationed on Long Island. His father left the Air Force a few months after Damman's abduction and the family returned to Iowa. There is very little evidence available to indicate his fate and his case remains unsolved.

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
N"DorkFish"au County Police Department

Charley Project

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Jun 16 09 2:33 PM

Man Claims to Be Child Missing for 50 Years (1:00 p.m.)

Posted: June 16, 2009 12:56 PM

EAST MEADOW, N.Y. (AP) - More than 50 years after a 2-year-old boy disappeared from outside a Long Island bakery, a Michigan man has come forward to claim that he was the missing boy, authorities said Tuesday.

The man approached N"DorkFish"au County police and federal authorities in Michigan over the past few months and said he believes he is Steven Damman, N"DorkFish"au County Police Lt. Kevin Smith said.

The case was referred to the FBI in Michigan and authorities are awaiting DNA results to determine if the man's claim is true, Smith said. Authorities didn't release the man's identity.

Sandra Berchtold, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Detroit, declined to comment on Damman's case Tuesday.

Jerry Damman, the father of Steven Damman, said "it's very possible" that the man could be his son.

"To a certain extent this would probably close it," said Damman, who lives on a farm near Newton, Iowa, about 30 miles east of Des Moines.

Steven Damman was 2 when his mother, whose husband worked on a military base, left him and his younger sister waiting outside a bakery while she went inside to shop in 1955, Smith said.

"Back in that time, it was probably not that uncommon to do something like that," Smith said.

Damman's mother left the bakery and found the stroller and both her children missing, Smith said. The stroller, with only her infant daughter inside, was found a short time later, Smith said.

Thousands of police and firefighters searched for Steven, but he was never found, Smith said. None of the investigators on the original case are still with the department, he said.

Details of the case were first reported in Tuesday's editions of the New York Daily News.

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Jun 16 09 2:48 PM

Updated: 1:23 p.m.

Dad of boy missing since '55: 'This might be him'

BY JOHN VALENTI AND MATTHEW CHAYES | [email protected] [email protected]
1:23 PM EDT, June 16, 2009

The father of a Long Island toddler who went missing more than five decades ago says he has reason to believe the man now claiming to be his long-lost son actually is Steven Craig Damman.

"It probably is him," Jerry Damman told Newsday when reached at his farm in Newton, Iowa, on Tuesday.

"[I'm] not a hundred percent sure," he said. "But there's good reason to believe it might be."

N"DorkFish"au County Police Department spokesman Det. Lt. Kevin Smith told Newsday that in March, a Michigan man contacted N"DorkFish"au detectives claiming to be Steven Damman, whose unsolved missing persons case may be the oldest in Long Island history.

Steven was a toddler when he disappeared on Halloween 1955 after his mother left him and his infant sister outside an East Meadow supermarket. The girl was found unharmed in a stroller not far from the scene and the boy was presumed kidnapped.

After the man claiming to be Damman came forward, Smith said, N"DorkFish"au police referred the case to the Federal Bureau of Investigation field office in Detroit.

A law enforcement source told Newsday the man, whose name has not been released, had previously contacted a woman he believed to be his biological sister, Pamela.

On Tuesday, Jerry Damman confirmed the scenario, though it remained unclear how the man was able to find the woman - or why he elected to track down her instead of another family member.

"This guy never felt he was part of the family he was with," the source said. "[He] started looking into adoption or missing persons cases - and narrowed in on this one."

The source said the FBI is awaiting results of its own DNA test, being conducted at the FBI lab in Quantico, Va.

The story, citing an unnamed source, was first reported in the Daily News Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the FBI office in Detroit said the bureau would not confirm or deny specifics - including if there is an ongoing investigation in the Damman case.

"The FBI follows up on all leads," Special Agent Sandra Berchtold said Tuesday.

Steven Craig Damman was just a toddler - 2 years, 10 months old - when his mother told N"DorkFish"au County Police he was taken from in front of a Food Fair supermarket on Front Street in East Meadow between 2 and 3 p.m. on Halloween day, 1955.

A story about the alleged abduction in the Nov. 1, 1995, edition of Newsday reported that the mother, Marilyn Damman, told police she had left her son outside the market standing alongside a stroller holding her daughter, Pamela, then 7 months old.

The then 22-year-old mother said she was inside the store for "about 10 minutes." When she exited, Damman told police, her son, her daughter and the stroller were gone.

"I don't think he knows where the brake is," Marilyn told Newsday not long after the alleged kidnapping, explaining that she did not think her toddler son could have moved the carriage.

"He never wanders," she said. "He's kind of a momma's boy."

A neighbor found the stroller - and baby Pamela - a few blocks from the scene and not far from the Damman home on Mitchel Avenue. Steven was never found and officials could never determine why Pamela was left behind, unharmed.

A follow-up story in Newsday that came with a blaring front-page headline reading "Fear Missing Boy Kidnapped" reported that more than 5,000 volunteers had searched for Steven in what police called "the most-intensive street-by-street search in the history of N"DorkFish"au County." Other stories reported officials had launched "a nationwide hunt" for "six persons" whom a witness had seen "pick up the boy" in front of the supermarket.

The details of the story never panned out.

The search involved many U.S. airmen, as well.

Jerry Damman, now 78, was then a 25-year-old airman stationed at Mitchel Field.

Months after the disappearance both Jerry and Marilyn Damman returned to Iowa, which the couple called home.

They were later divorced. That was in 1957, about the same time police in Philadelphia found the body of a young boy buried in a cardboard box along Susquehanna Road in the Fox Chase section of suburban northeast Philadelphia.

For a time it appeared the boy in the infamous "Boy in the Box" case would be identified as Steven Craig Damman.

But N"DorkFish"au Police Insp. James Farrell went to Philadelphia to see the body in 1957 - and said then it was not Damman. Jerry Damman confirmed Tuesday that his daughter, Pamela, supplied DNA to Philadelphia police in 2003 - and those tests confirmed again that the "Boy in the Box" was not Steven.

The case has been the subject of a wide-range of Internet sites highlighting the cases of missing and kidnapped children, among them: The Doe Network, For the Lost, The Charley Project, Remember the Innocents, Websleuths and America's Unknown Child.

"I've been somewhat aware [of the developments] for some time," Damman told Newsday. "After that many years, you don't know what to think. It's very difficult . . . It's just something that stays with you."

In his interview, Damman repeatedly apologized for not being able to elaborate about what he might know about the pending identification of the man who could be the son he hasn't seen since that day back in 1955.

Damman said he has tried to contact the man who would be his son but has so far been unsuccessful. He said he is anxiously awaiting confirmation of the man's true identity.

"The one thing I would really like to find out," Damman said, "is what actually happened . . . I still don't know the answer to that question. I know nothing, really - other than this might be him.",0,790894.story?page=2

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Jun 23 09 2:56 PM

Man 'stunned' DNA shows he wasn't snatched tot
Updated 42m ago

By Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press
KALKASKA, Mich. — John Barnes is back in Kalkaska, Mich., back in his home in the woods — still unsure who he is.

In his first interview since the FBI announced Thursday that DNA tests proved that Barnes was not Steven Damman, a child who was abducted in New York in 1955, Barnes told the Free Press on Monday that he was disappointed and apologized to anyone that he hurt, including the Damman family.

Despite the DNA results, Barnes still does not feel he is related to the family that raised him and he has no desire to have any relationship with them. He said he wants to continue his relationship with Pamela Horne, Steven Damman's sister, and he will continue to search for his identity.

In a lengthy phone interview, Barnes spoke about a number of topics.

What was your reaction to the FBI results?

"I was disappointed, kind of stunned, but I really thought I was that kid. I wasn't trying to draw attention to myself or create a hoax or run a scam or anything like that ... My intention was never to be on television or to hurt other people's feelings. I want to make sure people know that. The story got blown out of proportion. It took off like a rocket. That wasn't my intention ... I was just looking for my true identity and I still am … I've had dead ends and been disappointed before. I'm not going to stop now. I'm going to keep searching the rest of my life."

Barnes said that he was quietly doing research and it spun out of control in the media.

"I was just doing my own little investigation. I wasn't bothering anybody. I was up here in the woods. I don't know who alerted the newspaper reporters. I didn't do it. I didn't know it was going to be like that. I'd like to apologize to the Damman family. I did not think, when I started this, I didn't think it would turn out like it did. I didn't want to get their hopes up and have it turn out that way. I'm not that way. I apologize for that … I'm apologizing to anybody who had their feelings hurt, or was disappointed. I'm not that kind of a guy. I live up here in the woods. I mind my own business. I take care of my property. But I do have a question about my identity and that's what I was looking into and that's how it started."

Barnes said he was at a hotel in New York City with Pamela Horne on Thursday and they found out about the DNA results together.

"I was disappointed, and I felt bad for Pam, I really did. We've had a good relationship. I hope to keep it. I still consider Pam my adopted sister. I don't know how she feels about me right now. We were in this together. She knew everything I was doing … She is still my adopted sister. We love each other like brother and sister … She was crying … She was disappointed. I was glad I was there with her. I gave her a hug."

He has not heard from Horne since the news.

"I haven't tried to call her. I was going to let her call me."

At the height of the media frenzy, Barnes told his story on Today. He was flown to New York by NBC and put up in a fancy hotel. A camera crew followed Barnes as he was reunited with Horne. But there were no cameras present, he said, when he found out the DNA results. He returned to Kalkaska on Friday but hasn't talked to Richard Barnes, the man who raised him as his son. He has not talked to his sister, Cheryl Barnes.

"I don't talk to them anyways … I know I didn't come from Barnes. I'll still say that. I may not be the missing New York kid. But I don't believe I came from Mr. Barnes."

Why do you expect to continue to have a relationship with Pamela Horne?

"Pam was helping me out a lot. She wanted to know what happened to her brother. She thought I was her brother. She was convinced. I just know I'm not Richard Barnes' son. Pam and I were convinced that we were brother and sister. It wasn't a snap decision. We had a lot of information and we thought we were brother and sister. But we are not. I'm disappointed for Pam and I feel sorry for her mom and dad. I'll always have a soft spot for Pam. She's a great gal."

Barnes said that he sent a letter to Horne in October. He went to Kansas City and met with her for three days, sleeping on the floor in her apartment. They started calling each other every day.

"We both agreed we had a lot in common. She told me that I sounded like her dad. I thought I was onto something. I was getting excited. I was trying to keep it quiet. I didn't want any attention until I knew we actually were related. She has red hair and green eyes, light skin, just like I do. And she's tall."

Barnes said his hopes were raised after a preliminary DNA test suggested that Barnes and Horne were related.

"We did a do-it-yourself DNA kit. It's cheek swabs. This was just a cheap, do-it-yourself DNA kit to see if there is a sibling test. You get what you pay for. It was the cheapest one. Just because I'm not related to Pam and her family, that doesn't mean I'm related to Mr. Barnes. I will say that. I'll always be searching for my identity. I'm not saying that to hurt their feelings. I'm not doing this to embarr"DorkFish" the Barnes family. I didn't mean to hurt anybody's feelings. I was convinced I was this kid. I was convinced. But I?m not."

Barnes said that he had talked to Horne about continuing their relationship if the FBI DNA results came back negative.

"We talked about that many times. If we get a DNA test and fail it, we are still going to be friends. And still have contact and visit with each other. There was no question."

Why don't you take a DNA test to see if you are related to Richard Barnes?

"I asked him 15 years ago to do one and he said he would. Then, when I would press him to do it, he didn't want anything to do it. I don't know how DNA works. It's complicated. I'm not a scientist."

Barnes said that he has several theories on what might have happened to him as a child.

"I've never felt I was related to my mom or my dad. I don't know. I've thought about being switched at birth at the Navy hospital, but that's pretty far-fetched, even back then. I thought my mom might have had an affair. I thought I was kidnapped. I thought, maybe, I was adopted for a while. I even went to Florida in 1996, down to Pensacola to see if I could get any information, and we didn't find anything out."

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#5 [url]

Apr 11 13 4:03 AM

Does anyone have an eMail address for any of these people? Barnes, Damman, Horne.... any of them? Cant find one online.
[email protected]


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