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  1. #1
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    NY - Steven Craig Damman, 2, East Meadow, 31 Oct 1955

    Halloween 2005 marks the 50th anniversary of this child's disappearance...

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

    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

    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.

    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact: Nassau County Police Department Missing Persons Section 616-573-5370

    Source Information:
    America's Unkmown Child
    The Doe Network: Case File 1275DMNY

    Link:
    http://www.doenetwork.us/cases/1275dmny.html

  2. #2
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    America's Unknown Child (the Boy in the Box mystery)

    2003 Analysis of a DNA sample submitted by Steven Damman's sister proved conclusively that Steven was not the unknown boy discovered in a box in Philadelphia in 1957.

    The story of the Boy in the Box is told in a separate thread. Mitocondrial DNA was extracted from one of the little boy's teeth, and has been compared to a number of interesting leads.

    Source:
    America's Unknown Child (the Boy in the Box mystery)

    Link:
    http://americasunknownchild.net/default.htm

  3. #3
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    Apr 2005
    Location
    orange county, ny
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    In October of '56, The FBI arrested 18 year-old college student Robert Fontaine for attempting to extort money from the Dammans for information about Steven's whereabouts. Three times Fontaine had contacted the Dammans and demanded money. THe FBI believed he had nothing to do with the actual disappearance.

    Following Steven's disappearance, the Dammans moved to Iowa. In March of '56, Judy Damman, Steven's 17 year-old aunt, reported she and three friends were kidnapped by two men at gunpoint. The four reported they were driving to school when the two men forced their way into the car and forced them to drive over 400 miles. The girl driving panicked when told to turn onto a side road, at which time she ran the car into a ditch. The two men then fled on foot. A massive search then ensued; the girls then admitted they had made the story up and had just gone for a "joy ride". They spent two nights in jail for the false report.

    There were two reports in May of '56 that Steven had been seen in the company of three black individuals in different areas of Kansas. LE thought the reports credible at the time.

    In December of '57, Marilyn and Jerry Damman divorced, Marilyn stating that her husband had always blamed her carelessness for Steven's kidnapping.
    Marilyn, who had left Steven and his younger sister Pamela outside the store while she shopped, was granted custody of little Pam.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2005
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    Mount Airy, North Carolina
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    I spent much of my time today reading the Boy in the Box case files. http://americasunknownchild.net/

    It really is a mystery. I think so many of these missing children will never be found. Who knows how many of them are buried in someones basement. Never to be found.

    It is sad this man blamed his wife but honestly it was my first thought. How could she be so stupid as to leave her children outside. Then... I thought back to a few times when I wasn't paying close enough attention to my own. Hindsight is always 20/20.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2005
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    orange county, ny
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    While looking up info on Steven, I found a report from '56 of a young boy found (alive and well) at an AZ gas station who was at first thought to be a match for Steven. After investigating, it was discovered he had been abandoned there by his parents because he was mildly retarded and the parents didn't want to care for him. As inconceivable as it is to us, these things have been happening for a long time...

  6. #6
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    Oct 2005
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    Mount Airy, North Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowangel
    While looking up info on Steven, I found a report from '56 of a young boy found (alive and well) at an AZ gas station who was at first thought to be a match for Steven. After investigating, it was discovered he had been abandoned there by his parents because he was mildly retarded and the parents didn't want to care for him. As inconceivable as it is to us, these things have been happening for a long time...
    Shadow, You are so right. I would like to think if I had a neighbor with children and then all of a sudden one of them was never seen again, I would ask questions. Lots of them.

    But then again... I am suspicious of everyone. My mom use to say no one would ever kidnap me because I didn't trust anyone and they sure were not going to be able to sneak up on me because I was constantly watching my surroundings and also that I have never been gullible. My favorite games growing up were spy games and playing detective.

    There's a lady I know, she has outlived 4 husbands. I think she is a black widow. Her last husband died on the way home from the attorney’s office after changing his will. I told a detective with the Sheriffs Dept in my county and he just laughed. Laugh now. Someday they will find out I'm right! We will see who has the last laugh.

  7. #7
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    Apr 2005
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    orange county, ny
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    It is so difficult in this day to strike a balance with and for our kids...No one wants them to start out cynical and suspicious at an early age, because innocence is so fleeting anyway...But of course we know we can't let our kids be too trusting of anyone. I just don't let my boys out of my sight. Some say I'm overprotective, and that's fine. My boys will never be a thread here.

  8. #8
    djEnlighten is offline "Belief and seeing, they're both often wrong." R.S. McNamara
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    I'm familiar with Nassau County and realized the Doe Network has a typo in the phone number listed for the missing persons unit in Nassau County, specifically in the area code. It should be: Missing Persons............... 516-573-5370. Would someone be able to pass this info along to the people at Doe Network so they could correct Case File 1275DMNY - Steven Damman?
    "Opinions are formed in a process of open discussion and public debate, and where no opportunity for the forming of opinions exists, there may be moods -moods of the masses and moods of individuals, the latter no less fickle and unreliable than the former -but, no opinion." Hannah Arendt

  9. #9
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    Dec 2005
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    2

    Divorce

    Quote Originally Posted by shadowangel
    In December of '57, Marilyn and Jerry Damman divorced, Marilyn stating that her husband had always blamed her carelessness for Steven's kidnapping.
    Marilyn, who had left Steven and his younger sister Pamela outside the store while she shopped, was granted custody of little Pam.
    I am a genealogist and Steven Damman is a third cousin of mine. His father lives in the house that my great grandfather built in the mid 1800's and which my grandparents set up housekeeping in. He said that he had asked his wife not to leave the children outside the store before which might explain some of the hard feelings.

    It is a sad story and I hope that there is some conclusion to it. It is something that effects even the extended family.

  10. #10
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    It is sad that his disappearance tore your family apart. Nowadays I'd never leave a child outside of a store like that but back then, things were different.


  11. #11
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    damman case

    I was eight years old & lived next door to Steven & have never forgotten this case. There were always rumors that this was not a genuine kidnapping, but that perhaps the story was inspired by a very famous kidnapping of a baby that had occurred several months previously. It was a strange situation.

  12. #12
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    Linked kidnapping?

    Quote Originally Posted by dr.annie
    I was eight years old & lived next door to Steven & have never forgotten this case. There were always rumors that this was not a genuine kidnapping, but that perhaps the story was inspired by a very famous kidnapping of a baby that had occurred several months previously. It was a strange situation.
    Do you recall any of the details of the other kidnapping? It could be that Craig's disappearance was the work of the same perpetrators. Or - possibly someone copied the earlier kidnapping.

    Many times, when there is a disappearance or kidnapping, others want to get into the act by making crank calls, or demanding ransom payments, calling in false leads - or even confessing (falsly) to the crime. An actual copycat kidnapping would be rare, but possible.

    There is a case where a man murdered his family, and when captured, he told a story about drug-crazed hippies (like the Manson Family) coming into his house to kill everyone.

    Craig's case sounds more like a straight forward child grabbing, although it is odd that both children disappeared from the front of the story, while one was found, but the other still missing. Could it be that the little boy pushed the baby buggy down the street, then wandered off, to be picked up by a passing mororist?

    Although the woman was certainly negligent in leaving the children outside the store, I sincerely doubt that she made the story up to cover up anything. Too much possibility for a witness to see her with (or without) the children.

  13. #13
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    I recall the situation quite well. The earlier case was quite famous; an infant ( Peter Weinberger) was kidnapped & ransom demands made to his parents. The child was found dead & the perpetrators captured ( I believe.) . The case occured on Long Island, shortly before Steven's disappearance ( It's not hard to find via google). Steven's mother didn't report him missing until sometime after she'd returned home, if indeed she'd gone to the store WITH Steven ( as I recall) . Neighbors were sceptical, as there was some question regarding his wellbeing previously; I was told ( by a neighbor who was an adult at the time) that there had been concerns expressed to the Post Chaplain ( it was a military installation housing area) prior to his disappearance ( perhaps there were records kept? I nevr read of any). It was a more innocent time, remember.
    There were a number of theories ( held by neighbors) regarding his fate, not all of which had to do with a kidnapping. I've always wished the case were closely re-examined before it was too late, as many neighbors,etc. are in 70's & 80's by now.

    I remember seeing him, sittiing on the front steps of the apartment, very quietly.
    Last edited by dr.annie; 05-23-2006 at 05:34 PM. Reason: I left out a phrase

  14. #14
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    Halloween 1955

    Bumping Steven's story. Today marks 51 years since his reported disappearance.

  15. #15
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    What caught my attention was the scar on the chin and the arm fracture, not all that common in 2-year-olds. Today a medical record like that would raise some interest in the parents in an abduction case.

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