7 Meses Después De Que Niña Desaparezca, Un Excursionista Descubre Un Falso Montón De Troncos
No Sabía Lo Que Venía
Dermot se quedó helado. ¿De dónde venía ese sonido de llanto? Pensó que era una pila de troncos cuidadosamente apilados, pero Dermot no podía estar más lejos de la realidad.
Quiso salir corriendo y gritar pidiendo ayuda, pero ¿quién iba a oírle en estas colinas? A medida que se acercaba a la pila de troncos, una sensación de inquietud le invadió. No tenía ni idea de que estaba a punto de descubrir algo realmente inimaginable.
Le Encantaba El Senderismo
Con el aire fresco en sus pulmones, no había nada que le gustara más a Dermot Smith que subir a las colinas de su pequeña ciudad. Dermot era un buscador de emociones y pasaba mucho tiempo en las colinas, rodeado por la naturaleza.
Pero este aventurero en ciernes no tenía ni idea de que cuando se embarcó en una caminata, una fría mañana de domingo, estaba a punto de descubrir algo realmente inimaginable.
Un Pueblo Pequeño
Dermot había vivido en Riverwood toda su vida. Era un pueblo tranquilo y todo el mundo se conocía entre sí. A pesar de ello, la gente de allí era amable y estaba dispuesta a hacer cualquier cosa para ayudar al prójimo.
Pero hacía 7 meses, una terrible tragedia había destrozado a este pueblo. Y nada volvió a ser lo mismo.
Una Niña Desaparecida
Fue en verano cuando Alice, de 11 años, desapareció. Sus padres la habían dejado ir a ver a una amiga que vivía al final de la carretera, pero 5 horas más tarde seguía sin regresar. Lo único que quedó en la calle fue su bicicleta rosa.
Los padres estaban angustiados. No era normal que su hija desapareciera sin avisarles antes. No sabían dónde estaba ni qué hacía. La familia, preocupada, pensó que nada podía ser peor. Pero estaban equivocados.
Haciendo Todo Lo Posible
Dermot, al igual que todos los habitantes del pueblo, se angustió al conocer la noticia de la desaparición de Alice. Todos se agruparon e hicieron lo que pudieron para traer a la niña a casa.
Sin embargo, a pesar de todos sus esfuerzos, nadie pudo encontrar a Alice. Fue como si se hubiera desvanecido en el aire.
7 Meses Después
7 meses después de la desaparición de Alice, la joven aún no había sido encontrada. Dermot decidió ir de excursión. Las caminatas ayudaban a Dermot a despejar su mente.
Cogió su cantimplora y su equipo de senderismo y se dirigió a las colinas. No tenía ni idea de lo que iba a descubrir.
En Su Caminata
Dermot llevaba poco menos de una hora caminando. Había empezado a sudar y podía sentir el ardor en sus músculos.
A pesar de ello, el paisaje era impresionante y valía la pena el esfuerzo para verlo. Respiró el aire fresco y una sonrisa se dibujó en su rostro. Y de repente, lo vio.
Una Pila De Troncos
Era una pila de troncos al pie de la colina. ¿Qué hacían allí? Curioso, Dermot bajó la colina para inspeccionar los troncos cuidadosamente apilados.
Cuando llegó, se acercó a la pila. De repente, escuchó un ruido que le produjo un escalofrío.
Sonido De Llanto
Parecía un grito, pero Dermot no tenía ni idea de dónde procedía. El sonido le heló la sangre. Gritó hacia las colinas detrás de él, pero no hubo respuesta.
Y entonces el grito cesó de repente. ¿Qué estaba pasando?
¿Qué Hacían Ahí?
Dermot siguió investigando la pila de troncos. No sabía por qué esos troncos estaban aquí, pero el tiempo pronto empeoró y Dermot supo que tenía que marcharse y volver a casa.
Pero justo cuando estaba a punto de marcharse, encontró algo que hizo que le diera un vuelco el estómago.
Se Quedó Helado
Dermot se quedó helado. ¿Era aquello una broma? Le dio un vuelco el estómago en cuanto lo vio. Quería correr y gritar pidiendo ayuda, pero ¿quién le oiría en estas colinas?
Sabía que tenía que ser rápido. Con las manos temblorosas, cogió su teléfono y marcó el número de la policía. Esperaba que no fuera demasiado tarde.
Salir A Las Colinas
La policía se dirigió a las colinas después de escuchar a un frenético Dermot en el teléfono. “¡Vengan rápido! Ahora mismo. Vengan ahora, por favor”. Dermot dijo a los policías por teléfono, con la voz quebrada.
¿Qué había descubierto Dermot? Tardaron algo menos de 30 minutos, pero finalmente, los policías llegaron. No tenían ni idea de lo que les esperaba.
Sólo Mira Allí
Cuando el agente Jones llegó a las colinas, se quedó perplejo al encontrar una pila de troncos y un Dermot con aspecto angustiado. “¿Qué está pasando exactamente?”, preguntó el agente, con un tono severo y autoritario.
Dermot se acercó al oficial Jones con las lágrimas corriendo por sus mejillas. “Mire allí”, dijo y señaló la pila de troncos.
Un Mal Presentimiento
El oficial Jones se dirigió a la pila de troncos y, a cada paso que daba, una sensación de malestar le subía por la espalda.
No sabía por qué, pero tenía un mal presentimiento sobre esos troncos. Cuando el oficial Jones se acercó a los troncos se dio cuenta de algo, y se quedó con el estómago revuelto.
No Era Una Pila De Troncos
Desde la distancia, la pila de troncos parecía eso: una pila de troncos cuidadosamente apilados. Sin embargo, al inspeccionarla más de cerca, el oficial Jones sospechó de la forma rectangular perfecta y de las líneas negras.
Cuando se dio cuenta de lo que realmente era esa pila de troncos, se le pusieron los pelos de punta.
Un Escondite Secreto
Las extrañas líneas de la pila de troncos eran en realidad ventanas. Lo que creía que era una pila de troncos, era en realidad un escondite secreto.
Pero, ¿qué era exactamente lo que habían querido ocultar para que nadie lo viera? Cuando el oficial Jones y Dermot miraron dentro de la cabaña secreta, quedaron horrorizados.
Dentro De La Cabaña
En el interior de la cabaña secreta había una cama, una estantería y un pequeño retrete. De repente, una joven salió de la esquina.
El oficial Jones gritó de sorpresa al ver a la joven. Miró más de cerca a la chica y se dio cuenta de quién era. Se quedó sin palabras.
La Misma Niña
La niña misteriosa era, de hecho, Alice, la niña de 11 años que desapareció hacía apenas 7 meses. El agente Jones se sorprendió al descubrirla. ¿Qué estaba haciendo ella aquí?
El agente sabía que tenía que pedir refuerzos y poner a la niña a salvo. ¿Pero era demasiado tarde?
Sana Y Salva
Los refuerzos del agente Jones llegaron al lugar y llevaron a la desorientada Alice a la comisaría para interrogarla. Alice dijo a los agentes que un hombre la había secuestrado y metido en la cabaña secreta.
Por mucho que intentaron averiguar lo que había sucedido, la policía no tenía ninguna pista. Alice fue devuelta a su casa sana y salva y el caso sigue abierto a día de hoy.
A Mother’s Worst Nightmare
This was the moment she was waiting for. Finally some truth, some answers. No mother should go through what Lyneth went through. Never in a million years would she wish what she went through on anyone, not even her own worst enemy. Which at times, was herself.
Arriving at Connecticut Airport, hundreds of miles away from her home in Canada, Lyneth steps out into the pickup area, hoping that she’ll finally be given answers about her son’s disappearance. She had been waiting 31 years for this moment.
She Couldn’t Wait To See Him
It was a warm summer day in June 1987 when Lyneth pulled up to a dollar store on Islington Avenue in the north of Toronto. She was picking up her son Jermaine from his father Alan, who had arranged to meet Lyneth there at 4 pm.
Jermaine was just a baby when the two parents decided to separate, but despite this, Jermaine was a happy child with a smile and laugh that could light up a room. She couldn’t wait to see him. But she had no idea what was to come.
She Knew He Would Love It
Lyneth had spent the day doing all the typical things you do when you’re child-free for the day. Grocery shopping, daily errands, etc.
She even bought Jermaine a toy, a fluffy plush lion with big brown eyes – just like Jermaine. Lions were his favorite. She knew he would love it. But little did she know her whole world was about to come crashing down.
Where Were They?
The clock has just gone 4 pm and Lyneth watches a family across the road. They’re laughing, smiling, and enjoying each other’s company. Lyneth smiles to herself.
Strangely, the little boy, who’s clinging onto his father’s shoulders, resembles her own son. He waves at Lynteh and she waves back before checking her watch. It’s now 4:09. Where were they? As the minutes passed, she could feel a terrible feeling in her stomach.
Her Heart Is Pounding
Lyneth’s heart is pounding. She can feel it in her chest. The time is now 4:20 pm and Alan and Jermaine still haven’t shown up. Suddenly, a swarm of anxiety hits Lyneth and she stumbles to the ground, dropping the toy she had personally picked for Jermaine.
As she gets up and races into her car, she dials 911 and speeds off. Leaving behind a cloud of smoke and Jermaine’s teddy bear.
An Empty Home
The sound of silence fills the empty home of Lyneth. Perched on a chair in her kitchen, Lyneth’s eyes are sore and her head is throbbing.
It has been 48 hours since she waited at the dollar store. Since she waited to see her little boy and give him his teddy bear. But now she has neither her son nor his teddy bear.
This Couldn’t Be It, Could It?
A couple of months passed and even after the Toronto police conducted an extensive search there was no trace of Jermaine. As expected, Lyneth was devasted.
And slowly but surely, those couple of months turned into a couple of years, and the next thing Lyneth knew, she was celebrating what would be Jermaine’s 25th birthday in her empty home. This couldn’t be it, could it?
All She Had Left Were Memories
Over the years, numerous agencies had attempted to solve the disappearance of Jermaine. But there were still no leads. Even the Missing Children Society of Canada (MCSC) became involved but still, nothing. All Lyneth had left were the memories in her mind and a few images of her little boy. But Lyneth refused to give up. In 1989 she appeared in The Toronto Star hoping to raise even more awareness.
There were suspicions that Allan had abducted Jermaine, and taken him over to the United States, but there was no concrete evidence. However, there would soon be a crack in this heartbreaking case that would change everything.
Adamant To Find Jermaine
Across the border, in the United States, there was an equal dedication to finding out what happened to Jermaine. His story was featured on the Charley Project, a database dedicated to publicizing missing person cases in the United States.
Unfortunately, this still didn’t give police a lead. Despite all this, there was still one person that was adamant to find Jermaine. And he wouldn’t rest until he did.
A Break In The 3-Decade-Old Case
A ray of light in a world of darkness, former policeman Ted Davis had been investigating for MCSC for three decades. After meeting Lyneth and watching her wear her heart on her sleeve, Davis made a promise to Lyneth and her family that he’d do everything in his power to make sure Jermaine was brought back home.
And so finally, in 2016 – almost 30 years after Jermaine had disappeared, there came a break in the 3-decade-old case.
That same year, Ted had attended a conference alongside members of the Toronto police and representatives of the United States.
When at the event, the attendees started to discuss Jermaine’s disappearance which ultimately sparked further interest. As Ted left the conference, little did he know investigators would have some fresh leads to follow.
A Crucial Clue
By the end of summer 2018, investigators had got in contact with numerous people who were Allan’s acquaintances. With each person they spoke to, investigators hoped they would be able to get some vital information.
Some suggested that Allan may have made his way 500 miles east of Toronto, residing in Connecticut. But it wasn’t until they spoke to one of Alan’s closet friends that they would land a crucial clue that would finally lead police to Jermaine.
Jermaine Is Alive?
Supposedly, Allan had created a new name, a new alias, and a brand new identity. Going by the name as Hailee Randolph DeSouza, police knew they were one step closer to finding out what happened to Jermaine.
They searched official databases and social media and finally, they found a match; an elderly man and aged man living in Vernon, a town close to the Connecticut capital of Hartford. Could this be them? If so, does that mean Jermaine is alive?
A Match Made In Heaven
With the mystery finally about to be solved, investigators enlisted forensic experts to help join the case. They examined the driver’s license photo that was on record for DeSouza’a’s son.
And slowly but surely, in October 2018, the team was able to confirm what they had all been hoping for: that DeSouza’s son and Jermaine were probably the same. They had a match! But first, they had to catch Alan.
Tracking Him Down
Investigators were excited that they finally had some answers. But they knew they needed to make a move; they had to find Allan before it was too late.
An anonymous source claimed Allan often spent his time at the local KFC; he was friendly with the staff, and he sure did love the food! And so, investigators set off to the KFC, ready to bring Allan to justice and make him pay for his crimes. But would that be the case today?
“This is the police,” screams a member of the Connecticut Police Department as they race inside the KFC restaurant. The team scanned the room looking for Allan, while startled and confused employees stand around. Then they notice an elderly man sitting in the corner of the room.
He puts his hands up and the police immediately corner him and the man confirms that he is the fugitive they’re looking for. But where was Jermaine?
A Crucial Encounter
Police suspected that back in 1986 Allan had fled Toronto with Jermaine and traveled to the United States with the two reportedly sharing an apartment in Connecticut since 2004.
Handcuffing Allan before leading him outside, the police hear a voice. “Dad?” Suddenly, a middle-aged man walks around the corner. A middle-aged man with big brown eyes. Just like Jermaine.
Living A Lie
The father and son duo – unbeknownst to the son – lived a life of lies for decades and decades. After fleeing Canada, Allan had managed to acquire fake documents, residing in New York, North Carolina, and then settling in Connecticut.
When living in Vernon, Allan found employment as a trucker and as an engineer, while Jermaine worked for the state. Little did Jermaine know, his whole life had been a lie.
All his life Jermaine had questions about his mother. His dad told him she passed away during childbirth, but he was pretty ambiguous about the details.
Jermaine remembers seeing his friends get picked up from school by their mothers. Jermaine never had that. And it wasn’t until he turned 33, that the truth about his mother would come to light.
What Kind Of Father Would Do This?
Standing and weeping in court as his father’s lies and deceitfulness came to light, Jermaine sobbed into his tissue. How could his father do such a thing? His heart stops to hear that Allan would not be facing charges for kidnappings. Instead, he would be extradited to Canada to face further charges.
As he steps out of court, Jermaine is lost for words. With thousands of questions running through his mind, a sudden realization hits him. His mother is in fact, alive.
The Call That Changed Her Life
Lyneth is speechless. She has just got off the phone with Ted. They’ve found Jermaine. Her baby boy. He’s alive. He’s safe. She had been waiting for this moment for 31 years.
Overwhelmed with emotion, Lyenth breaks down, tears falling from her face. She’s going to see her baby boy again.
Words Couldn’t Express It
So, Lyneth had finally received the news that she had been hoping and waiting for — for the last three decades. “Words can’t express what I felt,” she said at a press conference in 2018.
“The words, ‘Your son is alive; we’ve found him,’ that is breathtaking.” The overjoyed mother then boarded a plane to Connecticut. She couldn’t wait to reunite with her long-lost son.
Standing in the pickup area at Connecticut airport, Lyneth is about to be reunited with her son after 30 years. She can’t believe it. What will he look like?
Suddenly, a tall, dark figure appears, walking towards Lyneth. Instantly she recognizes the face and those big brown eyes. Her heart stops. It’s her son. It’s Jermaine.
Never Letting Go
Running towards each other with tears streaming down their faces, Lyneth and Jermaine crash into each other with a warm embrace. Both are crying and overwhelmed with emotion.
Squeezing each other tight, they both have so many questions. But for now, they just hug each other tight, refusing to ever let go again.
The Same Eyes
“I grabbed him and squeezed his head; I want to feel if he’s real,” she said through tears. “I touched him, and I said, ‘Oh my God, my baby.’”
Although Jermaine has declined to give any public interviews as yet, Lyneth mentioned that he made a touching comment when they met — he said that they shared the same eyes.
After Lyneth was reunited with Jermaine at last, the pair were able to spend some quality time together at last. Lyneth was eager to learn about Jermaine’s life and what had happened in the last 31 years.
Lyneth even bought ingredients to make Jermaine a home-cooked dinner – only to find out that he is a vegetarian. But Jermaine decided to make an exception. “He said, ‘You know what, Mommy? Cook the chicken. I’m gonna eat the chicken,’” Lyneth recalled.
Never Apart Again
For the time being, it is unclear if Lyneth will relocate to be closer to her long-lost son. However, the happy mother did tell reporters that she will do everything in her power to make sure they are never separated again.
Then, Lyneth went on to open up about the devastating actions that Allan had taken all those years ago.
“I just thought it was sad for him to have done what he did,” Lyneth confessed. “You never take a child from its parent – no matter what.”
The mother also coming to terms with the fact that her son had a whole other life before she came back into the picture. “I have to respect the fact that he was a child; he didn’t know anything,” she explained.
He Had No Choice
“So, what was given to him, he had no choice but to live with that,” Lyneth continued. “And so, if the name that he has right now, he would like to respect that, then I’m gonna stand with him.”
With that being said, however, Lyneth admitted that calling her son by his new name may always be difficult. “To me, my son has always been Jermaine, so yes, that sticks for me,” she explained.
During a news conference, Lyneth also took the time to give special thanks to all those people on the case — all those people who never gave up the search for her missing boy.
Lyneth made special mention of the MCSC and the authorities on both sides of the border. Furthermore, she hoped that her story might inspire other parents in her situation to never give up their faith.
“I am the proof that after 31 long years of suffering – 31 long years – one should never give up,” Lyneth explained. “But be patient, be strong, and believe that all things are possible and that anything can transpire.”
Meanwhile, John Durham, Connecticut’s U.S. Attorney, spoke about all of the investigators who had worked so long and hard to bring Jermaine home.
“After taking his son away from his son’s mother, this defendant is alleged to have lived a lie for the last 31 years in violation of numerous U.S. laws,” Durham said in an official statement in 2018.
“We thank the many law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Canada that have investigated this matter, worked hard to apprehend this fugitive, and finally provided some answers to a mother who has suffered with her son’s absence for far too long.”
An Unusual Case
And according to the experts, Jermaine’s disappearance is an exception to the rule in what is actually a surprisingly common crime.
“This is believed to be the longest case in North America – if possibly not the world – where an abducted child is reunited with a parent where they’re both in safe condition,” Banks explained.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.