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View Full Version : CANADA Canada - Larry Leroy Nelson, 3, Calgary Alberta, 24 Dec 1957



Richard
10-05-2007, 11:15 AM
50 Years Ago...

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Larry Leroy Nelson
Missing since December 24, 1957 from Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Classification: Endangered Missing

Vital Statistics

Date Of Birth: November 11, 1954
Age at Time of Disappearance: 3 years old
Distinguishing Characteristics: White male. Blonde hair; blue eyes.
Marks, Scars: The tip of his middle finger on the left hand is missing.

Circumstances of Disappearance

Larry Nelson went missing on December 24, 1957 in Calgary Alberta, Canada. It was assumed that he fell through the ice in the Bow River that day while playing on the ice with other children. Larry was deathly scared of water, so it was hard for his family to believe that he would even go near the river.

Larry’s mother Madeline was forced to go to work that day and Larry was left in the care of a babysitter. His normal babysitter, who lived right next to them in the Iglewood Auto Court, was unable to care for him that day, so she referred Madeline to her sister-in-law. When Madeline came home her son was gone.

The Calgary City Police dragged the river in hopes to find the body, but it was never recovered. The Bow River is a fast moving river and if the body did get tangled up it would eventually work its way free. The police dismissed the case as a drowning, but a Death Certificate was never issued.

Larry's father, Edward Sawchuk, attempted to kidnap the boy once prior to the boys disappearance. Edward committed suicide on June 24, 1975 in the Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Larry has never been found.

Investigators

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Family E-Mail kandy@sk.sympatico.ca

The Doe Network: Case File 184DMAB

http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/184dmab.html

cold case lady
10-08-2007, 02:51 AM
have you seen the case on the doe net work about the boy in the box that seems awfully familiar to this little ones description that was found dead inside a box in washington in 57.He had blonde hair,blue eyes and was about the same age.He remains unidentified

rpipergirl
10-08-2007, 10:23 PM
have you seen the case on the doe net work about the boy in the box that seems awfully familiar to this little ones description that was found dead inside a box in washington in 57.He had blonde hair,blue eyes and was about the same age.He remains unidentified
I think you are refering to a boy found in Phillidephia's fox chase area in 1957. That is the boy in the box.

cold case lady
10-10-2007, 12:16 AM
yeah,sorry about that got my places mixed up.this is the same story on the doe net work isn't it?

Laura_Bean
06-21-2009, 11:28 PM
I need some help from anyone who worked this case in the past or anyone else who may be able to help. Anyone hear of John Barnes?

http://www.newsday.com/about/ny-lidamm1912896324jun18,0,59512.story
John Barnes believes he was abducted as a child. He believed he may have been a missing child from Long Island, a boy who had been abducted from a grocery store in 1955, when the boy's mother went into the store. She left her son, than 2 yr old Steven Damman outside with his infant sister and purchased some groceries. When she came back, less than 10 minutes later, the two were gone.

The baby was found a block away but Steven was gone. A manhunt insued. No trace of Steven was ever found. John believed he was this child and finally came forward. A DNA test was done and came out that John was not, indeed Steven. This case, the case of little Leroy came into my mind. The two are very similar in looks. Both blond hair, blue eyed children missing a little over 2 yrs apart.

John's "father" says that "john" is not Steven and is younger than Steven. I wrote to the family of Leroy sent news articles and photos. The woman I spoke with says that "John" is very similar in looks to Leroy. She asked me to find an address or a phone number, or both. I need help to get this done. Please help! We may not be able to solve little Steven's Daman's disappearance with this man, but maybe we can find out what happened to Leroy after all of these years.

I tried calling the FBI and they told me the case is closed, and won't look into this man being Leroy, so no help there. Can we do it? Will you all help, please? This one might just be solvable!

Thank you!

Laura_Bean
06-21-2009, 11:36 PM
Oh and here this is a good start:::: Look at the similarities in these two children

The Doe Network:
Case File 1275DMNY

Damman, circa 1955

Steven Craig Damman
Missing since October 31, 1955 from East Meadow, Nassau County, New York.
Classification: Missing



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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


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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 massive search involving more than a thousand persons, Steven was never seen again.



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The Doe Network:
Case File 184DMAB

Nelson, circa 1957

Larry Leroy Nelson
Missing since December 21, 1957 from Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Classification: Endangered Missing



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Vital Statistics

Date Of Birth: November 11, 1954
Age at Time of Disappearance: 3 years old
Distinguishing Characteristics: White male. Blonde hair; blue eyes.
Marks, Scars: The tip of his middle finger on the left hand is missing.



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Circumstances of Disappearance
Larry Nelson went missing on December 21, 1957 in Calgary Alberta, Canada.

It was assumed that he fell through the ice in the Bow River that day while playing on the ice with other children. Larry was deathly scared of water, so it was hard for his family to believe that he would even go near the river.


Larry’s mother Madeline was forced to go to work that day and Larry was left in the care of a babysitter. His normal babysitter, who lived right next to them in the Iglewood Auto Court, was unable to care for him that day, so she referred Madeline to her sister-in-law. When Madeline came home her son was gone.


The Calgary City Police dragged the river in hopes to find the body, but it was never recovered. The Bow River is a fast moving river and if the body did get tangled up it would eventually work its way free. The police dismissed the case as a drowning, but a Death Certificate was never issued.


Larry's father had attempted to kidnap the boy once prior to the boys disappearance. The father committed suicide on June 24, 1975 in the Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Larry has never been found.



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Cubby
06-21-2009, 11:43 PM
Laura,

Wouldn't it first make sense to see if John is in fact the biologicial child of his father? Have DNA Tests been taken to prove he is not his fathers son? Seems the likely place to start, which would rule out his having been kidnapped as a child.

jmo

Laura_Bean
06-21-2009, 11:50 PM
I don't know if he's done it yet. I talked this over with Leroy's family member and she understands that he may yet be John. However, she still wants to jump on this quickly, and I think we need to as well. The thing is, if John takes it hard that he is not Steven, and just decides he is too embarrassed and that maybe his father is telling the truth, he may not even do a DNA test to match himself to his supposed "family". We need to let him know he may have been on the right track, and just picked the wrong missing child. There is still a good possibility he is not who he thinks he is. I agree he needs to have a DNA test to try and match it to his family. But in order to get him to actually do that, he may need to know of this other possibility first.

IMHO

Laura_Bean
06-21-2009, 11:55 PM
One more thing : There is also a lot of good reasons why the FBI took John's claim very seriously. No birth certificate. The fact that he went down to Florida to the place his father said he was born, and they had no record of his ever being born there, or treated for anything there. He searched and so did the FBI and found, nothing of his being born there. He doesn't look like his brothers, sisters, mother, father or like any of the photos he ever saw of any of his family members. He searched for adoption records and once again came up empty handed. His mother on her deathbed, all but admitted he was not her child or her ex-husband's child. He always felt out of place growing up, as if his family was not his real family. No photos of him as a baby, only him as a child, and the one where his father claimed he was a yr old, looks more like he is at least two or three. And nothing before that. It's very odd. Everything adds up to something very strange happening. A kidnapping? Maybe. Possibly.

Laura_Bean
06-22-2009, 09:19 AM
There is an uncanny resemblance between Leroy and John and Leroy's family and John. The girl I have been working with sent me some photos last night. Pictures of John was a small child were blown up. John has the same nose that most of Leroy's family has. Wow. The resemblance is simply amazing. I will ask the family member if I can put up the photos she sent me, so you can all see it too.

Laura_Bean
06-22-2009, 04:37 PM
I found his phone number and passed it along to the family member. She will be calling either today or tomorrow. One thing about Larry is that he is missing the tip of the middle finger on his left hand. If John possesses the same missing part of that finger, this could be very well be him. This is exciting! And even if he is not Larry, well, at least that gives us something to rule out!

Laura_Bean
06-23-2009, 01:23 PM
Okay so she spoke with him. He wants her to send him, via the mail, a photo of Larry. He also said he does not believe he is Larry, and that his finger seems fine. I wonder, could it have grown back? My youngest had a really big thing happen to his finger a while back, and it did grow back with a nail and everything. So I just wonder... But we'll see.

Laura_Bean
06-25-2009, 05:25 PM
An email sent to me from the family member after I asked some questions


I know there are unanswered questions and I have asked pretty much all those questions myself to Madelien when she was alive. This is how the story goes...

On the day Larry went missing (December 23, 1957.. which Madelien initially told me Christmas Eve Day but only to find out through the newspapers later that it was in fact December 23) he was being looked after by woman by the name of Mrs. Ralph Griffin because Madelien had to work. She was not Larry's 'normal' babysitter (who was Jaqueline Cantley) but she was the sister-in-law to Jacqueline. Jacqueline and her family had went away for the Christmas holidays and 'referred' Madelien to this woman.

So the story goes (from newspapers) Larry and the two Griffin boys (Dale - 4 1/2 at the time and Lance - 2 at the time) were outside playing when their puck went over a 6 foot embankment and on to about 5 feet of 'thin' ice and snow jutting out from the embankment. It was said that the boys' (larry's) footprints were seen on the ice leading to the 'open' water.

The police department searched for almost two days dragging the river and air search etc but to no avail... no body was ever recovered. Madelien could only remember the 'usual' with him as what he was wearing. Coat, pants, boots, etc... but could never tell me exactly what color they were. She didn't even remember the name of the lady that looked after him that day and when I brought her name up, she still couldn't recall.

My research? From Newspapers, Police Departments, Battlefords Union Hospital, GlenBow Archives (Calgary AB), Family Members and such....

Firstly, from every family member that remembers Larry and remembers what he was like, they ALL stated that Larry was deathly scared of water. Madelien had to fight with him to even have a bath. She recalled when they had to take the bus over the bridge to get to shopping etc, Larry would grab on to her and scream the whole way because he knew the water was down there. So the question is, how could this boy who did this actually go onto the ice (thin ice at that and when you can see the water underneath the ice and knowing full well that it is there) to retrieve this puck that has accidently went on there. Madelien said that he KNEW the water was there and refused to go over that way whenever she was with him. PLUS.. imagine a 3 year old boy climbing a 6 foot embankment to get on to the ice to begin with then walk 5 feet on the thin ice to retrieve the puck. They must have had some pretty STRONG arms at their ages to throw a puck that far. I am assuming that the boys were alone at the time but the paper never stated one way or the other.

Secondly, I did a research with the Calgary City Police Department. I was a bit unlucky with them as Larry's file had been gotten rid of. Bob Deans of the Calgary City Police told me that had I called about a year earlier, I would have been able to access those files. Unfortunately, only homicide files were kept due to the over abundance of files they had. He did, however, contact the coroner for me and did a little research into any John Doe bodies of any children that may have showed up anywhere in Canada since the 1950's and the coroner did this search. Not one showed up fitting that description. The coroner said that had one come up anywhere in Canada it would have showed.
Thirdly, I did a research with the Alberta Vital Statistics to find out if a death certificate had ever been issued for this boy and the answer was no it was never issued. However, being that the boy had been missing for so long, if the mother wanted to get a court order, she could have one done up... but she didn't want that because she has always believed that her son was alive. What bothers me the most about this whole story is that when he went missing, they did the initial search but that was it. Nothing ever came of it... it was left alone and no follow up to anything. It was like 'ok we did our job, nothing here, lets go home and forget about it'... There were no posters... no nothing... it was left as it was....

Fourthly, I requested a copy of Larry's Birth Certificate just to see what was on there... while I did this, I asked Saskatchewan Vital Statistics if maybe they issued a death certificate on him and they said they couldn't and that it had to be done through the Province in which he 'passed away' in... so that just led me right back to the Alberta Vital Statistics and you know what they said....

Next I did a search at the Battlefords Union Hospital, the place where Larry was born (November 11, 1954). Turns out he was in the hospital there 3 times in the short time he resided there. One time was for some sort of operation. It didn't say what it was but Madelien said something to the extent of hernia or appendix (but she couldn't quite remember). Madelien said (as well as other family members) that Larry was quite a 'clutzy' boy and fell often. I believe that one of the two times was for his finger. You know those old washers that had the belts? Ringer washers I believe... anyway, he got his middle finger caught in the belt. His Uncle told me the other day that he remembered that and said that he didn't think a nail would grow there... and if it did, it wouldn't be a 'normal' nail... maybe quite a bit smaller.

I actually got in contact with one of Jacqueline Cantley's daughters, by the name of Jacqueline Cantley.. ironic huh?, but she was the youngest and couldn't really remember Larry. I asked her about the Griffin's but she wouldn't comment. She told me that her and her family were getting together for the holiday (it was Thanksgiving at that time) and she would talk to them about Larry and she would email me back. I never did get a response and in one of my computer crashes, I lost all her information.

I also got in contact with Edward Sawchuck's brothers and sisters. They were quite shocked that someone was calling about something that happened so long ago. The one brother Walter, was quite willing to talk and give as much information to the questions that I asked. Edward and Walter were very close, as close as any brothers could be. He said that Edward never ever got over the loss of his son... in fact, he turned to drinking very heavily and he committed suicide in Saskatoon in 1975. He said Edward loved his son very much and would never have done anything to harm him in any way. As much as I wanted to believe Walter, I still checked into the funeral home that did Edwards' funeral. They said that on his file, there was not any mention of a child alive or deceased mentioned at any time. According to Edward's sisters, Larry was 'put away' and was never spoken about until I brought it up. Madelien did mention though, that one time while still living at her parents' house in North Battleford that Edward did try and kidnap Larry. Larry was outside playing in the backyard and she had went in briefly to get something. When she went back out, Larry was gone. A neighbour seen what happened and said some man had snatched him out of the backyard and headed down the alley. Madelien chased Edward down and got Larry back. I don't know if it was reported to the police at the time, but had Edward came back, he would have had madelien's dad after him the next time.
Another thing, when Madelien and Larry lived in Calgary (along with Madelien's boyfriend and later husband Arnie Flavel), they lived in a place called the Inglewood Auto Court. I found out through some research that the Auto Court was a place for transient people. There were a few people that hung around there, but for the most part, people came one day and left weeks later... sometimes days later. So when Madelien said that the rumor at that time that there was a strange man hanging around the auto court.. it didn't surprise me, she at first thought it as being Edward... but the fact that it was a transient place, it could have been just about anyone.

I have looked into many theories, but one that gets me the most is the fact that less than a week later, Madelien and Arnie (who had just gotten out of the hospital having polio), were picked up by her dad and taken back to North Battleford to live. How many mothers after just losing their child and not knowing the whole story, would have packed up and left so quickly without even a second thought?.. I know myself, if my child had went missing and no body had be recovered, I would NEVER move away from that spot in hopes that that child might one day show up and I will be right there waiting for him. So one of my theories was this.... Madelien was trying to look after her 3 year old boy... work a full time job and care for her sick boyfriend/husband who had polio. Being poor and no place to turn to, Madelien couldn't handle it anymore and decided to take Larry to an orphanage (temporarily) till she could get on her feet and get things straightened out. She had full intentions on getting him back right away but knew it was far too late and hard to deal with, a story was conjured up so that her parents wouldn't know the truth to what happened. Her parents were that of many parents... when in need, always call home, but back then, when you were on your own, you were on your own and it was a shame to call for help... even though her parents would have helped her. She also knew if her parents found out what she did, they would NEVER forgive her, so she made up the drowning story etc.... They would forgive her then because it wasn't her fault.
So with that in mind, I started looking into every orphanage, home, and hospital to see if a boy was turned in at such time... but to no avail. So my theory was then threw out the window... PLUS the fact that EVERYONE said that Madelien would NEVER do such thing to her child. She wasn't that proud... however, knowing Madelien myself... I wouldn't say for sure... I KNOW she knows more than she ever told me. How could you forget what your child was wearing the day he went missing... how could you throw everything of his away and not even keep a favorite toy of his or stuffed animal etc... something... anything... to remind you of him.... She never kept anything but one picture of him....and that is the one you see on the doenetwork today.

People also mentioned that in the Bow River there is this thing called a Weir... and had Larry's body fell into the river, the weir would have chewed his little body up... good theory and could potentially be a good route to follow, however, researched proved that theory wrong because the Weir was upstream to where Larry 'supposedly' went into the river. I did a lot of research through the Glenbow Archives in regards to the Weir and that was what my findings were.
Any questions that I asked Madelien, the response was.. "That was so long ago and I don't really remember". So what I have told you and my findings were just that... My findings... but you know, deep down... and through research... I feel that larry is still alive somewhere... I also feel that Madelien wasn't letting on the whole story... You know how it was in the old days...it was a hush hush thing... I think she knew everything and nobody else knew anything except that he supposedly 'drowned' that day. If she had said anything, it would expose her and she would then be a liar and her family would never speak to her again.... but that is just my opinion.....

I am not sure if this helps you out any and if you have any more questions after reading this, please don't hesitate to let me know... If I know it, I will most definitely answer the best I can. Hopefully this will give you some insight though and what I have been dealing with in trying to find this little boy... or at the very least, find out what happened...

Lurker Steve
06-26-2009, 02:27 AM
It sounds to me like Madelien may well be so traumatized, that she doesn't WANT to remember - thus "putting Larry away", giving away his things and keeping just the one photo, etc. I know people who just want to run away from traumatic events.

I don't buy the orphanage theory because it doesn't explain the footprints, and why would you temporarily take your kid to an orphanage? Why not get him back, it's not like anyone would really know.

And if Larry was being taken care of by a babysitter, how would Madelein know what he was wearing? He was already gone by the time she got back, and if she left in the morning, he may not have gone outside yet. She'd know what he WOULD be wearing, since every kid in Calgary is going to be wearing that.

As far as the ice - there's only one thing you're going to be doing with a puck in Canada during winter, and that's playing hockey! If this kid was afraid of ice (not just water), he certainly wouldn't be playing hockey, and relatives would be able to corroborate that. Looking on the net, it does appear that the Bow River freezes over in winter - why do you think it would be thin ice?

Here's a Youtube clip of someone at the Bow River in Calgary in January:
YouTube - Bow river frozen over

That looks pretty solid to me - and it was a warmer day when that was filmed than it was in 1957 when Larry disappeared. With the snow on top, you'd be hard-pressed to see any running water. Looking at some of the references for aquaphobia (fear of water), it's more like fear of drowning - and it's not clear to me that you'd also have a fear of ice.

6' embankments sound high but I've seen taller around here, and a kid could easily climb one. The ones I've seen aren't straight up; they're more gradual, and you'd have to scramble a bit.


As an aside, I always have a problem with assigning motives because they wouldn't do what you'd do. As an example - you say that you'd never move away from that spot in case the kid returned. Personally, I wouldn't just leave after three days, but after that - well, at some point you do have to accept the ugly truth and move on with your life.

Laura_Bean
06-26-2009, 12:29 PM
Larry's mother always said he didn't drown. She didn't believe it, ever. I don't think he drowned, I honestly believe he was kidnapped. If he was kidnapped, where do we look first for clues? And it's sad and interesting too, that local LE never searched or anything. They just figured he fell through the ice, and they never searched for him. I think that's just plain sad. The kid could have wandered off into a field, and had they started a search right away, he maybe would have been found a little cold, a little scared, but otherwise just fine. Also the footprints that LE found could have been any kid at all playing hockey who decided to go over the embankment to retrieve the puck. More likely, it was a child slightly older than the one who went missing, who retrieved the puck cause his buddies didn't want to have to go climbing over the embankment. Back than, it sounds like, LE in the area just figured he went under and didn't do anything else. Like she said, no posters were put up, nothing. They just sort of let it go. As for the orphanage theory, it is possible. I have heard of people during the great depression doing the same exact thing, even when they had rich relatives who could have helped. They were just too proud. Anyway... Lots of theories and I really want to help this family find closureone way or the other.

Sassy36
06-26-2009, 03:53 PM
Hi, this is Larry's family member... I appreciate what each and everyone of you have said and are trying to do to help me find out what happened to Larry... I appreciate the video and yes it does get quite frozen over, but judging from the newspaper articles that I have, the river was not frozen over like that back then. You could see open water and Larry KNEW that that was where the river was... even if he couldn't actually see the water per say.

As I said about the orphanage thing, it is a theory... not proven obviously... and it could very well have had something to do with the babysitter or the fact of the transient place in which they lived. People came and went relatively quickly... according to the source I have at the Glenbow Archives.

As for the embankment... I didn't doubt that he couldnt go over it... the thing I doubt is that a 4 1/2 year old, a 3 year old and a 2 year old would have the strength to toss a puck over a 6 foot embankment and across five feet of thin ice. Pretty strong kids if you ask me.

As for moving away?? I know myself... I wouldn't have.... not until I knew what happened... or tried myself to figure out what happened... but I guess some people are different...

Anyway, thanks again and if anyone has any questions, if i can answer them I will try my best.... :o)

thefragile7393
06-28-2009, 05:00 PM
I don't buy the orphanage theory because it doesn't explain the footprints, and why would you temporarily take your kid to an orphanage?
It probably doesn't have any bearing on this case, but in times past, during the depression and in early 20th century particularly, sometimes parents would take their kids to an orphanage temporarily if they had to leave town for work for an extended period of time or if they could not afford to care for their children for a period of time. The agency I work for used to be involved in cases like this from this era.

Laura_Bean
06-28-2009, 05:30 PM
It may have some bearing... Depends. The mother says she was called to work that day and had to go on no uncertain terms. Is that about right Sassy? Was this usual for the mother? Did she have a job that she had to go in if someone was sick or something? Kind of reminds me of the case in the movie the changeling. Where the mother had to go into work that day even tho she had promised Walter to take him to a movie, than they had to cancel the plans because her boss told her she had to go in to work. I wonder... Where did she work Sassy? What sort of job was it, or do you know? Maybe someone knew she was going to be called in that day and decided to take it as a chance to take her son? Just a thought here. If someone was going to kidnap him, could it be that someone knew one of the people who worked at her job was sick, and knew that she would be the one called in? Or maybe someone pretended to be ill and called out knowing who would take his or her place?

rpipergirl
06-28-2009, 10:57 PM
Hi, this is Larry's family member... I appreciate what each and everyone of you have said and are trying to do to help me find out what happened to Larry... I appreciate the video and yes it does get quite frozen over, but judging from the newspaper articles that I have, the river was not frozen over like that back then. You could see open water and Larry KNEW that that was where the river was... even if he couldn't actually see the water per say.

As I said about the orphanage thing, it is a theory... not proven obviously... and it could very well have had something to do with the babysitter or the fact of the transient place in which they lived. People came and went relatively quickly... according to the source I have at the Glenbow Archives.

As for the embankment... I didn't doubt that he couldnt go over it... the thing I doubt is that a 4 1/2 year old, a 3 year old and a 2 year old would have the strength to toss a puck over a 6 foot embankment and across five feet of thin ice. Pretty strong kids if you ask me.

As for moving away?? I know myself... I wouldn't have.... not until I knew what happened... or tried myself to figure out what happened... but I guess some people are different...

Anyway, thanks again and if anyone has any questions, if i can answer them I will try my best.... :o)
Welcome to WS sassy36.
I agree that it is not logical at all that children that age would climb an embankment that tall or be able to throw a puck over it. I'm not evne sure at only 4'10" I could throw that high or climb that high. I will do some research on his case. I have also just added him to my missing kids site http://webspace.webring.com/people/ir/rpipergirl/

Sassy36
07-01-2009, 11:15 AM
Laura_Bean, Madelien was working as a full time waitress at a restaurant in Calgary not far from where she lived at the Inglewood Auto Court. I was not informed of the name of the restaurant but she worked lots due to the fact that her boyfriend (later husband) Arnie had been hospitalized with polio and was unable to work to help pay for everything.

I am not sure if Arnie had any money coming in at that point but I do know that he had been in the Air Force prior, so he may have had a bit of something coming in, though highly unlikely because he was still a young man. Therefore, this left Madelien at that point to not only work a full time job, care for her son but also attempt to do everything she possibly could to try and help Arnie out during his illness.

I know back then when you had to work you HAD to be there... because there were others waiting in line for your job. So, if she had turned down hours, that meant less money for her as well as the possibility that she may not have had a job to go to after that. Therefore, Larry was usually in the care of Jacqueline Cantley, except for the day that he went missing (Who, according to the papers, was a Mrs. Ralph Griffen). I am also naturally assuming that it must have been one of her scheduled days to work, however, it is quite possible that she could have been called in on short notice. Unfortunately, Madelien is not here with us anymore so those questions I am afraid will remained unanswered.

Yes, the orphanage theory is the theory I was attempting to go with, however, her family wouldn't hear tell of that. They believe that Madelien would NEVER do something of a sort, regardless of what kind of situation she was in. They claim that she would have had someone in her family look after him before she would consider doing that. I personally think that given the circumstances and being pressured in every way, it is a possibility that she could have done this. Back then, pride was the biggest thing and asking for anyone's help was just totally taboo... You made it on your own or you didn't but you never admitted failure and you never went back to your parents and asked for their help. As well, back then, secrets were a big thing. You didn't tell people what went on with your life, no matter who they were. A lot of people carried secrets till the day they died without telling a soul for fear of rejection, criticism or people knowing that you failed at whatever you were attempting to do. You did what you had to do, you carried on with life in hopes that things will get better.

Thank you rpipergirl... It is nice to be able to talk to someone and get others' perspective on things. I have been working on this case off and on since 1999 and have not come up with anything of real importance since. Like I said, if Larry did pass away that day then we would like to know details and have something final to say "Yes he did drown in the river that day" OR if he is still alive, we would like to find him as he still has a few Uncles left as well as numerous cousins that would love to see him and get to know him. :)

Sassy36
07-01-2009, 11:40 AM
It probably doesn't have any bearing on this case, but in times past, during the depression and in early 20th century particularly, sometimes parents would take their kids to an orphanage temporarily if they had to leave town for work for an extended period of time or if they could not afford to care for their children for a period of time. The agency I work for used to be involved in cases like this from this era.

May I ask where this agency is? Are there other agencies in or around Calgary AB that I may get in contact with. I tried Churches and Orphanages, but I had no luck. I also tried the hospitals around Calgary, but again no luck. Maybe there is one that I may have missed during this time.

Sassy36
07-01-2009, 12:22 PM
Laura_Bean, sorry I just seen your post about posting the picture that I showed you. Here is a link to it :)



http://s124.photobucket.com/albums/p24/Heaven36/?action=view&current=Capture7-vert.jpg

Laura_Bean
07-01-2009, 08:21 PM
Thank you Sassy for clearing some of that up. Doing some research on different things right now. We'll see what I come up with.

Laura_Bean
07-01-2009, 08:23 PM
And as a side note, how was Arnie? Did she eventually marry him? Was he okay with the idea of having a son to raise that was not his? I hate to ask these things, but if you know much about Arnie, (did he have a temper or was he as docile as a kitten, how did he feel about the boy or is that even known, etc), it could very much help. Thanks.

Sassy36
07-02-2009, 08:58 AM
Madelien and Arnie got married and stayed that way. From what I understand, Arnie just adored Larry and loved him like he was his own child. He was completely devastated when he heard the news that Larry was gone. Due to the polio, Arnie couldn't walk for about a year after he left the hospital and it was the help of Madelien's family that got him walking again. Though as he got older, walking got extremely hard and had a lot of trouble with his back etc. It was also told to Arnie after he had the polio that he couldn't have children, so Arnie and Madelien never had any other children.

The Arnie that I knew was a kind, gentle man who wouldn't and couldn't hurt anyone or anything if his life depended on it. He was a happy man, smiled all the time and always made others around him feel the same. He would help anyone at anytime, no questions asked. There was always a bright side to everything with him. Even while he was dying, he was always smiling and he said that he knew he was going to see Madelien again, so dying didn't bother him. He died last winter (2008) with lung cancer after a very brave battle with it.

Laura_Bean
07-02-2009, 11:34 AM
Okay so I would completely eliminate him as any sort of suspect. Sounds like a wonderful person. If Madeleine got her family to help out Arnie they probably had no problems helping her, and the pride of not being able to ask for help theory goes out the window for me. Sorry, but it sounds like she had no problems having her family help out Arnie. I retain the posistion that I believe Larry may have been abducted. But I don't think it was by the father. Otherwise, why would he drown himself later in the same river that his son supposedly drowned in? Kind of makes me think perhaps he believed his son did drown in that river and finally couldn't take it anymore, couldn't live without him.

Sassy36
07-03-2009, 11:04 AM
Madelien didn't 'get' her family to help out... they did it on their own. According to her brother, when their dad found out what happened, he drove to Calgary and picked her up and told her he was taking her and Arnie back to North Battleford.
I never once believed that Arnie could do anything of a sort and never once said he could or should be a suspect. He was too kind of a man, loving and gentle to ever consider doing something to Larry or to anyone.

From talking to Larry's dads family, I ruled him out too (a long time ago). Even though he did try and take Larry while he was still in North Battleford, his brother seemed quite sincere when he said that Edward was devastated that his son was gone... he turned to drinking and they couldn't get him to stop. He did a lot of self blaming, according to Edwards' brother and in the end, he committed suicide in the Saskatchewan River in 1975. Also, the funeral home confirmed that there was no mention that Edward ever had a child alive or dead... I thought maybe per chance that there was a child (alive) mentioned and that maybe that child could have been Larry.

What I do know of Madelien and as much as I hate to say it, she was quite selfish from what I could see over the years. Don't get me wrong... I loved my aunt to death but you could tell that she had a selfish way to her. So I still wouldn't rule out anything at this point in regards to the orphanages etc. Maybe, perhaps (and only just an opinion), that that may have been a self-less act on her behalf given the circumstances.. *shrugs*... I don't know....Lots of things has been tossed in my head over the years, I just don't know which way to turn anymore.
I do think the abduction would be a logical theory at this point though, considering where they lived.

Laura_Bean
07-03-2009, 03:26 PM
If Madelien was a selfish woman in certain ways, could it be that she figured she could not handle both Larry, working, and Arnie who had the illnesses? I hate to ask that, but I just wonder... Because many women chose their husband, or boyfriend, or whatever over their children. I am not saying she would have harmed him, you say she was a very nice woman, "who believed her son was alive". Now, if she had harmed her son in some way, I would more expect her to "just go along with the river drowning theory" so as not to get in any trouble. Instead she made you promise to continue searching and reiterated that she believed he was alive still. Thank you for telling me about the family just helping and pitching in.

Now something just struck me, and I want to run the possibility by you. Could she have given Larry to a family friend or a friend of hers, someone that she knew and trusted, just until she was better on her feet? And could this person have fallen in love with the little boy, as families tend to do, and run away with him? It's just a thought, but if that happened, and Madeleine felt she could not tell her parents for fear of what they would think, she would have no recourse but to make up the missing story.

Sassy36
07-03-2009, 04:13 PM
Anything is possible at this point. She always believed that her son was still alive and always maintained this. I know she would never physically harm her little boy and that's why I said that if she had given him to an orphanage temporarily, it may have been a selfless act on her behalf, given the circumstances.

The only other thing I can think of is the babysitter. Quite ironic after all the time Jacqueline looked after him, all was well. The day that Mrs. Ralph Griffin looked after him, he went missing.... weird don't you think? Also makes me wonder when I brought Mrs. Ralph Griffen up to Jacqueline's youngest daughter, she made no comment about her. It was almost like she didn't even acknowledge that she was even related to her. Also quite weird that I never heard from her again.

Something fishy went on there.... considering that Madelien didnt know her from Adam and let her son go there because she had to work. Mind you, I am sure she didn't have much choice in the matter.

Like I said, there could be many avenues to look in to and I have tried but haven't came up with anything of importance. I am hoping with the help of others, maybe something can be found out.... :)

darlenegurney
07-05-2009, 01:59 AM
The Doe Network:
Case File 4UMPA
The Boy in the Box fits this boy's description:

The Doe Network:
Case File 1275DMNY

Damman, circa 1955

Steven Craig Damman
Missing since October 31, 1955 from East Meadow, Nassau County, New York.
Classification: Missing

Sassy36
07-05-2009, 10:56 AM
Holy cow, you could be right darlenegurney. I wonder if they ever checked that possibility?

It is said that Steven Damman under treatment for a kidney growth at the time he went missing. He had a Small scar under chin. Healed fracture on left arm. Molelike birthmark on back of right calf.. The Boy in the Box: There were seven scars on the body, three of which could have resulted from surgical procedures. Two of these "surgical" scars were on the chest and groin. They had healed quite well, leaving only a hairline trace. There was also a scar on the boy's left ankle, which looked like a "cut-down" incision. Such an incision is made to expose a vein so that a needle may be inserted to give an infusion or transfusion. There was a 1 1/2 - inch scar on the left side of the chest, and a round, irregular scar on the left elbow. On the chin was an L-shaped scar - a quarter of an inch long in each direction. There was no vaccination scar. The boy had been circumcised. He had several small moles on his body, including three on the left side of his face; one below his right ear; three on his chest; and one on his right arm, two inches above his wrist.

Pictures of the boy in the box and Steven Damman are similar. hmmm interesting....

Laura_Bean
07-05-2009, 09:24 PM
Good work! This could be a potential. Sassy, you should get in contact w/ the Philly police and talk to them about this. It could be a good possibility.

Laura_Bean
07-05-2009, 09:36 PM
Larry Leroy Nelson is NOT the boy in the box. I am so sorry Sassy for getting your hopes up. The boy in the box was found at the end of February in 1957. Larry went missing in December of that yr. So he went missing AFTER the boy in the box was found. Once again I apologize Sassy.

Sassy36
07-06-2009, 12:11 AM
Laura_Bean: Already done... I sent an email to the Philedelphia Police as well as their FBI unit there. I will let you know if I hear anything from them. I am just wondering if they have already checked that out? Guess we will find out if they message me back... and no worries, about getting my hopes up.... I have learned over time to hang tough... not to get too excited about things :o)

Mr. E
07-06-2009, 12:03 PM
According to americasunknownchild.net, Steven Damman is not The Boy in the Box:

Analysis of a DNA sample submitted by Steven Damman's sister proved conclusively that Steven was not the unknown boy discovered in Philadelphia in 1957.

Laura_Bean
07-06-2009, 03:47 PM
That doesn't mean I am giving up tho. And thank you mr e for the info.

Mr. E
07-06-2009, 04:11 PM
You're welcome. I know how frustrating it is to follow something only to find out it was ruled out a long time ago.

Sassy36
07-07-2009, 08:26 AM
Indeed it is frustrating at times but if one doesn't check into it... then one doesn't know right? It is amazing how these kids and many others just vanish without a trace.... but eventually, some day... some how... the truth will come.. :)

Sassy36
07-07-2009, 09:07 AM
hmmm I wonder... if I were to talk to the Calgary Herald and see if they would/could possibly run an article in their newpaper including a picture of Larry and his information... I wonder if they would? Given the fact that they originally ran the initial article when he 'supposedly' drowned. What do you think? If they would... it might reach somebody somewhere that has some information right? What do you think?

Laura_Bean
07-10-2009, 07:54 PM
I am wondering something new. Sassy sent me a newspaper article of the case, and it makes me think... It says that the woman who was watching Larry also had her two children with her. One was 2 yrs old the other 4. It says the three were playing outside, and Larry waded into the water... I wonder how they knew that. And I don't believe a small child who is terrified of water would wade into the water. Another thing, did they just determine that from footprints? I wonder if there were any other footprints in the area... Did they even look? Just some questions..

Sassy36
07-11-2009, 09:27 AM
Laura_Bean: Factors that bother me about these articles is the fact that :

1) the rescue team probed under the ice with long poles in the area that Larry 'apparently' went in - if they probed under the ice then that means they were walking on the ice... right? If that ice held a man of anywhere between 150 - 190 pounds, tell me how come it couldn't hold a child of roughly 30 pounds (give or take)?

2) In the same breath, the article says that a fire department motor boat unsuccessfully dragged the river with pike poles and grappling hooks and that frogmen scoured the river then assuming that the body floated far downstream - if there were 'ice' on the river, what is a boat doing on there.. obvious there was open water and knowing what I know, Larry wouldn't have went there or on his own free will any way. Also, if they figured the body 'floated down stream', then why didn't they continue their search... it was like 'oh well, its further down, no point of searching any more' :(

3) It said that the 4 1/2 year old told the story of what happened - I am not saying I don't believe what a child says, but if anyone knows children, they tend to get things mixed up. I am not saying that that wasnt what the boy thought he saw and maybe they were playing out there like he said, but I wouldn't base the whole search on what a 4 1/2 and 2 year old had to say.

4) The boy said that they seen him 'wade' into the water to get the puck and the paper stated that the current instantly swept him away... well duh.. if he was swept away, common sense says that searching for him where he went in is kind of stupid don't you think? One would take into consideration how quick the current was and how fast it would take his little body, his weight etc and try and figure out where the body could have landed up at a certain time? Just an opinion....

I think that the drowning story was just that... a story... even today...if someone called the police and said... "Hey, I seen someone fall in the river".. what do you think would happen? The police, fire department etc would show up... they would drag the river... and find no body... That would divert their attention and it draws a crowd right? No body pays attention to anything because they are wondering what is going on at the time.... easy to get away with a kidnapping right at that point .. right? Just a thought....

Laura_Bean
07-11-2009, 01:47 PM
Here is another point to make Sassy. I am sure there were lots of footprints of these three children running back and forth if they were indeed playing. And probably footprints of the woman watching them, the mother of the two boys. Also probably even more footprints. Footprints made by people going back and forth in the area. Since it was a transient area, and lots of people lived there, probably lots of sets of prints going back and forth. Here is what I am considering. If a man was down by the river area, and the two other boys perhaps talked Larry into trudging up the hill to grab the puck that went flying, he could have walked up the embankment and encountered someone. That someone could have carried Larry off, leaving no Larry footprints leading a direction, so the last footprint from Larry they could see, could have been him standing next to the water. They may not have questioned adult footprints because the other children said they saw him drown. Now... The children could have made it up the embankment after waiting a few minutes and realizing that Larry wasn't coming back. If they went after him, they may have just put two and two together, the older boy would have been afraid to tell mom that they were playing by the river, and the oldest one could have made up the rest. That he went to get the puck, (which was true if they sent him to retrieve it), and he got swept away, (which could have been what they believed to be true and not what they actually saw). Also, if Larry saw the water and started crying or getting scared, it could have made him a pretty easy target to just pick up and drag away from the river. In fact, Larry may have been glad to go away from the river with an adult.

Laura_Bean
07-11-2009, 01:50 PM
Which is why we NEED to talk to those boys, and find out what they remember about that day, if anything at all. They, I believe, are our only links to the case. The woman, the mother who was watching the three of them, may lie to protect herself, her children, etc. Madeliene is gone. The biological father is gone. Madeleine's husband is gone. And the police threw out the files. So these boys and old newspaper articles, may be all that we have left to research.

Patience
08-24-2009, 06:34 PM
SEARCHING FOR: LARRY LEROY NELSON BORN: NOVEMBER 11/ 1954 AND DISAPPEARED: DEC. 24/1957

http://boards.ancestry.com/thread.aspx?mv=flat&m=2412&p=topics.adoption.adoptees

Patience
08-24-2009, 06:46 PM
Losing a child can profoundly alter one's life: experts

Sherri Zickefoose, Calgary Herald

Published: Monday, August 17, 2009
CALGARY - As a young boy, Larry Leroy Nelson was afraid of the water. The three-year-old hated bath time and fought it like a cat. At the beach, he was too scared to dip his tiny toes in the lake.
When he disappeared in front of two helpless playmates -- the sole witnesses saw his small red snowsuit bobbing along in the Bow River as he was swept away --and was presumed drowned on Dec. 23, 1957, Larry's family was grief-stricken.

http://www2.canada.com/topics/news/story.html?id=1899902

Laura_Bean
08-28-2009, 01:44 AM
I am still unsure what to believe. I do think I believe the older boy who said he saw Larry's red snowsuit in the water. Is there any way to trace if someone found a body that was never claimed, who was around that age and was in a red snowsuit and had the tip of a finger missing? I am just hoping that someone found this boy and laid him to rest. If the family had a gravesite to go and pay respects to, I think it would certainly help the family out. But how do we find this out?

Laura_Bean
09-25-2009, 04:00 PM
Okay I have a big problem. We talked to the older boy. He remembered Larry falling into the river. He remembered crawling through the fence around the river to get to and from the river. But I just saw a photo of the trailer park and river from THAT TIME. There has never been according to the photo, according to the historians, a fence around the river OR the trailer court. They said, the weir may have eaten up his small body. But the weir is far enough away they couldn't have walked to the weir with a two year old in freezing weather and a lot of snow on the ground. So.... I am wondering what in the world is going on. Where do we go from there? I am often not one to believe in conspiracy theories, or to believe in making things more complicated than they should be. But this is odd. The boy who is now an adult says he remembers the fence, and a hole in it. But there was no fence. So what.... Unless.......... What if the child wasn't watched in his own home but in someone else's home? Like Mrs. Ralph Griffin's home? Or a friend's home? Or somewhere else where there was a fence? Hold on got to speak with the family member of Larry.

Richard
12-23-2009, 09:19 PM
It has been 52 years since Larry Leroy Nelson went missing.

rpipergirl
03-12-2011, 09:18 PM
Okay I have a big problem. We talked to the older boy. He remembered Larry falling into the river. He remembered crawling through the fence around the river to get to and from the river. But I just saw a photo of the trailer park and river from THAT TIME. There has never been according to the photo, according to the historians, a fence around the river OR the trailer court. They said, the weir may have eaten up his small body. But the weir is far enough away they couldn't have walked to the weir with a two year old in freezing weather and a lot of snow on the ground. So.... I am wondering what in the world is going on. Where do we go from there? I am often not one to believe in conspiracy theories, or to believe in making things more complicated than they should be. But this is odd. The boy who is now an adult says he remembers the fence, and a hole in it. But there was no fence. So what.... Unless.......... What if the child wasn't watched in his own home but in someone else's home? Like Mrs. Ralph Griffin's home? Or a friend's home? Or somewhere else where there was a fence? Hold on got to speak with the family member of Larry.
you're right Laurabean that makes no sense at all.
Kids memories get mixed up. I remember things from that age but sometimes I mix memories together. Maybe that's what happened.

Ms Suzanne
08-26-2011, 04:26 PM
Does anyone know if the police checked DNA or footprints with little Leroy to the boy in the box?He does seem to fit.

luckyducky
08-26-2011, 06:39 PM
Larry Leroy Nelson is NOT the boy in the box. I am so sorry Sassy for getting your hopes up. The boy in the box was found at the end of February in 1957. Larry went missing in December of that yr. So he went missing AFTER the boy in the box was found. Once again I apologize Sassy.
From post 33 above

Ms Suzanne
08-26-2011, 07:58 PM
I know he came up missing afterwards.I think it should be checked any way even though little Leroy seems younger to me than the boy in the box.I was just starting to think maybe the boy in the box was from Canada some where.

Richard
11-04-2012, 09:52 AM
Christmas Eve will mark 55 years since this little boy went missing.