Michigan DNA testing disproved a Michigan man’s suspicions that he was a toddler kidnapped on New York’s Long Island in 1955, the FBI said Thursday, closing a chapter in a bizarre mystery that started after he began researching his roots on the Internet.
The FBI said in a statement that a test showed John Barnes, an unemployed man in his 50s who lives in a trailer in northwest Michigan, is not Stephen Damman, who disappeared at age 2 from outside an East Meadow market while his mother shopped.
The sample showed Barnes could not have the same mother as Pamela Damman Horne, the sister of the toddler who was with him when he disappeared, the FBI said. She was found in her stroller, unharmed, around the corner from the market.
The case had raised the hopes of the toddler’s father, Jerry Damman, who runs a 440-acre farm in Iowa, and stunned the community where the Halloween kidnapping occurred. Damman, now 78, had said he hoped for a resolution after five decades of silence.
“It’s too bad we had to go through all of this for actually nothing in the end,” he told The Associated Press.