|View single post by KGB|
|Posted: Tue Feb 13th, 2018 07:18 am||
|This story may not have as many bizarre elements as many of the others posted here, but it involves a cousin of mine so I thought I'd share it.
My dad's family, parents and 4 kids, all spent their entire lives in our hometown, with the exception of my dad's older sister Gracia -- the oldest of the siblings. Her husband's career took them first to another town in our county and then to Boardman, Ohio, outside Youngstown. They moved to Boardman, which is about 3 hours away from our Western New York hometown in the early 70's. My aunt and uncle also had 4 kids, three boys and one girl. At the time of this incident, John (who's my godfather) was 17, Eileen 15, David 13, and Tom 11.
On the night of Friday January 17th, 1975 David disappeared. My grandmother had come down from our hometown to spend some time with the family and before dinner she and my aunt decided to walk to the post office and a nearby plaza. John and Eileen were going to a high school basketball game that night and around this same time of day David asked John if he had an extra ticket. John didn't and reported that he and David made some small talk for a bit and that David then went out for a walk. My uncle Pete got home from his job shortly afterward and he, David, and Eileen (not sure where Tom was at this time, though he was likely home and just omitted from newspaper accounts) had a dinner that my aunt had prepared earlier in the afternoon and left in the oven.
My uncle was taking night classes in engineering management at Youngstown State and after finishing his food, left the house for a 6:15 class. When he got to the corner of his street he saw David walking on the sidewalk. He called him over to the car and David reported that he had been checking out the ice on Boardman Lake to see if it was fit for skating, however, he'd found it was too slushy and was on his way home. He also told my uncle that he hadn't seen my aunt or grandma while he was out. That would be the last reported sighting of David alive.
Around 9 PM my uncle got home from class. My aunt and grandma had returned home at some point that evening and the three of them quickly realized that David had never come home since last seen by my uncle. Worried, but wondering if David had gone to the basketball game after all, my uncle called the high school and got a hold of Eileen, who then found John. Neither of them had seen David at the game. Increasingly concerned, my uncle then got in his car and began combing the neighborhood. When he turned up nothing he called the police and also three local hospitals. David was a fairly severe diabetic. He required twice daily injections of insulin, which he administered himself at 7:30 AM and 7:30 PM. My uncle worried that if he'd been hit by a car, a hospital might have given him medications that would detrimental to his health.
Finally, at 11:30 PM, David's red hat was found at the very corner where he'd last spoken to my uncle. It was said that snow was trampled down for a few feet around it. At that point, a massive community man hunt was underway, one that stretched on for days. I was just shy of my 4th birthday at that point so I don't have any recollection of the events, but my mom said that my dad immediately hopped in the car and drove down to Boardman to help in the search. It was to no avail.
The following Thursday, six days after David had gone missing, his body was found, frozen, in a lot several blocks from his home. The coroner's report attributed his death to diabetic coma, which isn't surprising, but given the severity of David's diabetes this should have happened well before 6 days elapsed. That said, the coroner was unable to establish a time of death. He also reported that David's stomach was nearly full, indicating he had eaten within a couple hours of his death (remember, on the night he disappeared, he had left the house before eating dinner). He had a broken right wrist as well as contusions on his face. Oddest of all was a puncture wound in the small of his back, roughly 1/2" an inch deep. No matching hole was evident on his clothes. There were no signs of molestation.
Given the circumstances -- the missing hat, the injuries, the ingested food, and the fact that he was last seen a stone's throw from his own home and heading in that direction -- it seems very reasonable to conclude that he was abducted. However, the Boardman police never produced a single suspect. A little while ago, I came across my grandma's collection of newspaper clippings about the incident and wondered if I could find out any more information about it. The most informative thing I found was a 10 year old thread on an online bulletin board from the Boardman area. It discussed not just the case of my cousin but of another boy who had disappeared in the Boardman area just two years earlier and whose body was found in a dumpster a few days later. It too remains an unsolved case.
As I got a little older I gathered bits and pieces of what I just wrote here, but not enough to really know what had happened. I just knew that it was assumed he was kidnapped and it created an ungodly fear of kidnapping in me. My dad gave me his used pocket knife when I was about 9 years old and I would take it with me to Little League practice or my youth bowling league because I often had to wait alone for my ride to pick me up and I was worried about being snatched.
And to show you how serious David's diabetes was, my cousin Tom passed away in his 30's from diabetes related complications, after having lost his eye sight just a couple years earlier. My aunt and uncle are also deceased but John and Eileen are still with us. But to the best of my knowledge, no plausible suspect has ever been posited for David's death.