Dermot was walking past a pile of logs when something piqued his attention. He heard a strange noise that sounded out of place, so he paused to hear it better. At first, there did not seem to be anything odd about the log pile in front of him. However, he turned out to be wrong about that! He knew that he had to ask for help, but how? He was far from civilization, and no one would be able to hear him from there. There was nothing else to do but to come closer and check out the logs for himself…
An Outdoorsy Person
He was an outdoorsy guy who loved to go hiking. Dermot liked the feeling of dirt under his feet and the scent of the pine trees. If he could, he would spend all his days in nature. It started as a normal Sunday morning for him. As he headed into the woods, he had no idea what fate had in store for him.
The Small Town Of Riverwood
At the time, he resided in a small town by the name of Riverwood. The people were friendly and kind. They knew one another and did not hesitate to help when they could. However, a mystery befell the town only seven months before Dermot went on a morning walk. No one knew the truth… until now.
A Girl Went Missing
Several months ago, a child called Alice vanished into thin air after visiting a pal. They only found the pink bicycle that the 11-year-old girl rode. Her parents were heartbroken. They knew that their daughter would not go anywhere without asking for their permission. At first, they thought that she simply got lost. The whole town tried to help them look for the young girl, but they failed to find the missing child.
They Tried To Help
One hundred concerned residents helped look for the child. Dermot was actually one of these volunteers. The police arrived at the house of the family to lead the search. Everyone knew that it was going to be a long night. They all felt worried and hoped that Alice was all right. They did not mind spending hours looking for her if it meant bringing her home safely.
Every Nook And Cranny
They roamed the area and yelled her name. The volunteers looked for her both on the roads and in the fields. A hundred people were doing this, but no one found a trace of the young girl. As Dermot called out her name, there was a ball of fear in his stomach. They had no idea if she was safe and all right. Everyone tried to stay hopeful since they did not find any indication that she was harmed either.
As Time Passed By
Jan, a friend of the parents, shared what it was like. “It was stressful and emotional. We were all out there just walking back and forth, from one end to the other, yelling her name,” she shared. Time went on, and people started to lose hope. Everyone was stumbling into one another as they called out the name of the little girl. After a little while, it felt like nothing more than a disorganized search party.
After A Week
A week after that, there were fewer people actively looking for her. Many of the volunteers already gave up. Those who were still making rounds at night were starting to feel discouraged as well. There were so many possibilities. Alice could be in the fields, in the woods, or much farther. They did not find any clue that would lead them in a proper direction. It felt like looking for a needle in the middle of a haystack.
What The Police Did
The police sent helicopters with infrared cameras to comb the woods. On the ground, they had dogs that sniffed around for clues. Despite this, they still failed to come up with anything useful. Days turned to weeks, but they still had no idea what could have happened to the young girl. Where was Alice?
As Much As He Could
It was awful to hear the news of the disappearance. Dermot was even sadder to see that the search did not find anything. He tried to help as much as he could. He spent the nights looking for her in the woods. Sadly, their efforts bore no fruit. It felt like Alice simply vanished into thin air. Where did the child go?
Starting To Lose Hope
Dermot was an experienced hiker who knew that he could offer help by exploring the mountains around their town. After all, he could reach places that most people could not. Sadly, the choppers and dogs did not find the poor girl. It was very frustrating to spend so much effort to no avail. While he was a bit discouraged, he felt the need to do his part. He had no idea that he would be the one to crack the case.
After Seven Months
Seven months later, they still had no idea where Alice was. No one had any idea what kind of fate the child met. Others decided to move on simply, but Dermot found this impossible. Every time that he went out for a hike, he would go to a new area to see if he would discover anything that could help. He picked up his bottled water and slipped into his camping gear to head into the mountains once more.
Not A Typical Hike
At the time, he had only been hiking for less than an hour. Dermot was starting to feel the burn of the workout as he took in his surroundings. While it was not easy, he knew that he had to do it. Luckily, the gorgeous views and fresh air made up for it. He shut his eyes and took a deep breath. The scent of oak trees and wild grass made him feel relaxed. All of a sudden, however, his smile slipped from his face.
He Heard An Odd Sound
A strange sound piqued his attention. It sounded like a voice, albeit a super faint one. Dermot looked around, unsure where it came from. All of a sudden, he thought of the missing girl. His blood ran cold when he remembered her. “Alice?!” he yelled out into space. However, he did not hear a response. The voice stopped all of a sudden for some reason. What exactly was going on here?!
Not His Imagination
He was on hyper-alert mode. Cautiously, he moved forward and looked around. Did he just imagine the voice? He could not help but feel sick. While he wanted to run forth and yell out her name, he knew that it might not be the best thing to do. After all, he had no clue what was going on. As he looked around, he heard the voice once more. Not only that, but it sounded closer! It made his body erupt in goosebumps.
A Random Pile Of Logs
Dermot stopped in his tracks once more. He tried to keep his breathing steady as he tried to figure out where the sound came from. It stopped again. After running forward, he finally saw it. There was a pile of logs in front of him. He was confused because they seemed out of place. As he approached it, his jaw dropped. The only thing he wanted to do was to scream for help, but no one would be able to hear him.
It Was Out Of Place
Dermot had to do something about it right away. His hands were trembling, but he managed to dial 911 on his phone. Hopefully, it was not too late. He paced back and forth while waiting for help to come. He had no idea what to do now. This was the first time that he had experienced anything like this. The only thing he could do was to keep the evidence intact and keep an ear out for the voice.
Calling The Authorities
It is good that the police went to the mountains not long after he called to report what he saw. “Come quick! Now! Please!” he pleaded with the operators, his voice breaking. But what about the logs that made him react like this? In less than half an hour, the cops finally arrived. What happened after this?
In The Right Direction
When the cops finally got there, they were greeted by the sight of a distraught Dermot and a pile of logs. “What exactly is going on here?” an officer asked him in a stern voice. Dermot came up to him with tears rolling down his face. He pointed towards the pile of logs and told them, “Just look over there.”
Ill At Ease
Confused, the officer walked up to the pile of logs. At the time, they had no idea just what was going on. The cop started to feel uneasy with every step that he took towards it. He did not know why, but the lumber made him feel queasy. After getting closer, he finally saw what made Dermot react like that. We are sure that they felt the same way that this poor hiker did.
Not As It Seemed
If you look at it from afar, the pile of logs will look like nothing special. However, you will notice just how odd it really is after taking a better look at it. No log pile would be perfectly rectangular and come with black lines. When the cop realized what it really was, he felt sick to his stomach.
A Hideaway In The Woods
It turns out that the random pile of logs was actually a camouflaged structure. At first, Dermot thought it was nothing more than lumber, but it was really an entrance to a hideaway. The thought of hiding something in such a place gave them a bad feeling. When they finally went inside the hidden cabin, they were horrified.
Inside The Secret Cabin
They found a tiny room in the secret cabin. They were shocked to find a young girl come out from the corner! The cop yelped in surprise at the sight of the child. After taking a better look at her, they realized who this kid was. They were at a total loss for words. Dermot could not help but shed tears of relief!
They Found The Missing Girl
At long last, they finally solved a piece of the puzzle. Seven months after Alice disappeared, they were finally onto something. The officer was both shocked and impressed by the efforts that Dermot made. However, how exactly did this young girl wind up here? The officer asked for backup so that they could bring her to safety. This was their primary concern, but they still had a lot of questions about the case.
She Was Finally Safe
More cops headed there as soon as they could. They also brought the poor girl to the station. According to Alice, she was kidnapped by a man who then took her to this secret cabin. However, the police failed to figure out who would do such a thing. We are sure that you would also love to know who did this, but no dice. At the very least, we are glad that Alice managed to return home safely. The sad truth is that children go missing every single day. This missing child, however, was only found three decades later…
The Worst Day Of Her Life
Her wish finally came true, and it did not matter if it took more than thirty years to make it a reality. No one should have to go through the same thing. We are sure that Lyneth would not even wish it upon her worst enemy. When she arrived at Connecticut Airport, her emotions had been on overdrive. She was hundreds of miles away from home, but the trip was more than worth it. She stepped out into the arrival area and hoped that this would mark the end of the worst chapter of her life.
She Was Excited To See Him
In June 1987, Lyneth drove over to a dollar store on Islington Avenue in northern Toronto. It was a hot summer day, and she went to pick up Jermaine. Her son spent some time with Alan, his father, and agreed to meet up there at 4 p.m. The young boy had only been a baby when his parents split up. Even so, he remained a happy child with a laugh and smile that would light up any room. She was excited to see her son, but life had not been very kind to her…
Buying A Gift For Him
She did not really do anything out of the ordinary on that day. However, it was nice to be on her own for a little while. Lyneth went shopping for groceries and ran some errands. When she spotted a stuffed lion, she knew that she had to get it for her son! After all, Jermaine loved lions. She had a pleasant time alone, but she missed him. She had no idea that her world would be shaken by something awful that day.
Starting To Lose Patience
The first sign of trouble was that they were nowhere to be found even though it was already 4 o’clock. As she waited, she watched the other families. Lyneth smiled to herself, thinking that she would soon be reunited with her own son. One of the little boys reminded her of Jermaine. This child waved at her, and she waved right back at him. She was starting to get impatient. It was 4:09. Where could they be?
A Bad Feeling About This
Her heart was beating loudly against her chest. She had a bad feeling about this. Twenty minutes had gone by, but Alan and Jermaine were not there yet. Lyneth was struck by such a strong feeling of anxiety that she fell to the ground and dropped the stuffed lion. She had a gut feeling and raced back to her car. This mother hoped that she was wrong… She dialed 911 and drove off, leaving the toy behind her.
Her House Was Empty And Silent
The silence of her house was unbearable. She could not make herself get out of the chair in the kitchen. Her eyes and head both hurt. It had been 48 hours since she left the dollar store. She waited for a long time, but neither her son nor her ex arrived. It was very stressful since she had no idea where they were.
The Years Went On
The Toronto police launched an extensive search of the area but failed to find the young boy even months later. This news broke the heart of the poor mother. The months turned to years turned to decades. Before she knew it, Lyneth was celebrating the 25th birthday of her son in an empty home. It was difficult to live without knowing what fate befell her son.
She Had Nothing But Memories Of Him
Various agencies have tried to solve the mystery of his disappearance. Sadly, they did not have any leads for the longest time. The Missing Children Society of Canada got involved, but they did not find anything either. The only thing that Lyneth had were the memories of her little boy. Even though it was hard, she did not lose hope. In 1989, she was featured by the Toronto Star to bring more attention to the case. The theory was that Allan abducted Jermaine and then crossed the border into the United States. There was a good chance that this was true, but no one had evidence to back this up.
They Did Not Give Up On Him
The efforts to find Jermaine was not only limited to Canada. In the United States, some people were working on bringing him home. The Charley Project is a database that publicizes missing person cases in the country. They featured the story but still failed to find a lead. We are glad to hear that someone did not give up on the case just yet. He refused to rest until he cracked it!
No Longer A Cold Case
Ted Davis used to be a policeman. For three decades, he looked into cases for the Missing Children Society of Canada. When he discussed the case with Lyneth, he saw just how stressful it was for her. He promised her that he would do everything he could to bring Jermaine home. It is a good thing that he is not the kind of guy who would break his promise. In 2016, he finally made a breakthrough in the case.
Fresh Leads At Last
In the same year, he went to a conference with the other members of the Toronto police. There were also American representatives present at the time. At the vent, they talked about the disappearance of Jermaine Mann. It sparked new interest in the cold case. More importantly, it resulted in fresh leads!
A New Piece Of Information
In summer 2018, the investigators talked to people who knew Allan. They talked to these people in the hopes of finding new leads. Some of them believed that he drove five hundred miles east of Toronto and lived in Connecticut. However, they only made the breakthrough after talking to one of his closest friends. At long last, they found something that could lead them to the actual location of the pair.
A New Name For A New Identity
They found out that Allan had been using a new alias! He had a new name and identity. After learning that he used the name Hailee Randolph DeSouza, they were now a step closer to learning the fate of Jermaine. They went through both social media accounts and official databases. At last, they found a match. An older man was living in Vernon with his son. It was close to Hartford, the capital of Connecticut. Could these people be the father and son that they were looking for?
It Was A Match
They were so close to solving the mystery! The investigators sought out the help of forensic experts. They checked the driver’s license photo of DeSouza’s son. Slowly but surely, things were finally falling into place. In October 2018, they were able to confirm their theory. There was an excellent chance that the man in the driver’s license and Jermaine Mann were the same person! But what came after this?
They Tracked Him Down
The investigators could not believe it. After such a long time, they now had answers to some of their questions. They had to make a move as soon as they could. A tipster told them that Allan often went to a nearby KFC store. He reportedly liked the food and was on good terms with the people who worked there. The investigators headed to the fast-food joint in question. It was time to bring him to justice.
At The Local KFC
“This is the police,” a Connecticut Police Department member yelled as they stormed into the KFC location. They scanned the room for an older man. The employees were all confused and startled by what was going on. At last, their eyes landed on someone in the corner of the room. He had his hands up. The man confirmed that he was indeed the person they were looking for. At last, they found Allan.
The Man They Were Looking For
Their theory was that Allan fled Canada with his son in tow in 1986. They must have crossed the border into the United States. The two of them had reportedly been sharing a Connecticut apartment since 2004. They handcuffed Allan and led him outside. All of a sudden, they heard a voice say, “Dad?” They found a man behind them. He had big brown eyes as Jermaine did. Could this be him?
His Entire Life Was A Lie
He had no idea that he had been living a life of lies for years on end. It must be awful to learn the truth about your own life. After they left Canada, Allan got his hands on fake documents. In the past, they also lived in New York and North Carolina. After some time, they settled in the town of Vernon in Connecticut. Allan worked as an engineer and trucker, while his son worked for the state.
When The Truth Came To Light
When he was growing up, Jermaine asked Allan a lot of questions about his mom. However, his dad lied to him about that. He simply replied that she died while giving birth to him but stayed vague about it. As a child, Jermaine recalls mothers pick up his friends. It was sad that he did not get to experience the same thing. He did not know that his mother was actually alive and well until he was 33 years old.
He Could Not Believe It
Jermaine could not help but sob as he learned the truth about his life. He wept in court when all the deceit came to light. He had no idea how his father could do a thing like that. His heart stopped when he learned that his father would not be charged with kidnapping. Instead, Allan would be extradited to Canada. After stepping out of court, the young man was at a loss for what to do next. What now? All of a sudden, the truth dawned on him. He realized then and there that his mother was still alive!
She Waited For This All Her Life
Lyneth could not believe it. Ted had just called her to deliver the news. They have finally found Jermaine after such a long time. She was relieved to hear that he was alive and well. It had been far too long since she last saw him. She broke down in tears of relief. She could not wait to see her son once more.
The Joy That She Felt
It took more than three decades, but it did not matter to Lyneth anymore. She was only glad to hear the good news about her soon. In 2018, she spoke at a press conference. “Words can’t express what I felt,” she shared, “The words, ‘Your son is alive; we’ve found him,’ that is breathtaking.” Overjoyed, she got on a plane bound for Connecticut. After such a long time, it was time to be reunited with her son.
They Could Now Be Together
At the pickup area, she scanned the crowd for her son. It had been three decades since she saw him. She knew that a lot of things have changed. All of a sudden, she saw a tall man walk towards her. While he has grown up, she instantly recognized those brown eyes of his. Was this real? Was it really him?
Not Letting Each Other Go
The two of them ran towards each other. Neither of them could hold in their tears. Lyneth and Jermaine crashed into each other. Both mother and son were overwhelmed. They held each other tight. For now, the questions could wait. At that moment, they were just glad that they were finally with each other.
The Same Brown Eyes
“I grabbed him and squeezed his head; I want to feel if he’s real,” Lyneth shared through her tears. She added, “I touched him, and I said, ‘Oh my God, my baby.’” Jermaine declined public interviews, but his mother shared something he said when they were finally reunited. He could not help but express his amazement at the fact that they had the same eyes.
Cooking Dinner For Him
After the touching reunion, it was time to catch up on everything that they missed in the past 31 years. She wanted to learn what he has been up to since she last saw him. Aside from that, she also bought ingredients so that she could make him a home-cooked meal. Sadly, it was too late when she found out that he did not eat meat. It was a good thing that Jermaine was willing to make an exception for her. Lyneth narrated, “He said, ‘You know what, Mommy? Cook the chicken. I’m gonna eat the chicken.’”
Never Going To Be Apart Again
At the moment, we do not know their plans. Will she relocate to stay close to him? This remains to be soon. At any rate, Lyneth told reporters that she will never let anything get in their way ever again. She also talked about what the ordeal had been like for her. How did she feel about the betrayal?
What Her Ex Did
“I just thought it was sad for him to have done what he did,” she said. “You never take a child from its parent – no matter what.” Aside from that, she had to come to terms with the thought that Jermaine had a completely separate life that she did not know anything about. Lyneth confessed, “I have to respect the fact that he was a child; he didn’t know anything.”
It Was Not His Fault
“So, what was given to him, he had no choice but to live with that,” she said. “And so, if the name that he has right now, he would like to respect that, then I’m gonna stand with him.” Lyneth was glad that she was finally reunited with her long-lost son. However, it would take some time to get used to his new name. She said, “To me, my son has always been Jermaine, so yes, that sticks for me.”
Credit Where It Is Due
At the press conference, she also expressed her gratitude for all the help she received. It is incredible to think that strangers did not give up on the disappearance of her son. She made a shoutout to thank both the Missing Children Society of Canada and both countries’ authorities. More than anything, she hoped that their story would serve as an inspiration to all the people who are in the same boat.
Her Advice To Other Parents
“I am the proof that after 31 long years of suffering – 31 long years – one should never give up,” she told them. It is not easy, but you should not lose hope. Lyneth continued, “But be patient, be strong, and believe that all things are possible and that anything can transpire.” Let us hear what John Durham, the state prosecutor of Connecticut, had to say about the investigation that led to this reunion.
They Made It Possible
In 2018, he issued a statement. “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,” the prosecutor said. Durham went on, “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 from her son’s absence for far too long.”
A Very Unusual Case
Experts said that this was actually an exception to the rule. The sad truth is that it is not exactly uncommon for estranged parents to abduct their own children. “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 a safe condition,” said Det. Sgt. Wayne Banks.