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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

John Barnes/Stephen Damman: Man bears striking resemblance to missing NY boy

June 17, 2009
By JOHN FLESHER, Associated Press

KALKASKA, Mich. – The same chubby cheeks. The same round face and bright, blue eyes. And, most important, the faint scar on his chin.

John Barnes does indeed bear a striking resemblance to photos of a 2-year-old boy who was snatched from outside a bakery on New York's Long Island in 1955. And he hopes DNA tests will confirm the suspicions he's harbored virtually his entire life — that the couple who raised him were not his biological parents.

"I'm really glad that I'm finally finding all of this out, finding out who I'm related to. Because I didn't want to get old and die and not know," Barnes, a laborer who is now in his 50s, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Barnes said he never really bonded with the mother and father who raised him. They didn't look like him, and they just didn't seem like family. "They would say, 'Oh, you look like your grandpa so-and-so or your uncle so-and-so.' But they never had any pictures to show me to compare it with. ... I just had a hunch that something was fishy," Barnes said.

"I never asked them if they kidnapped me. I asked them why I was so different from them," Barnes said of his parents. Asked about a possible abduction, the man who raised Barnes called the idea "a bunch of foolishness." "I'm his dad," Richard Barnes said. He shook his head and replied, "no, no," when asked by a reporter if he had kidnapped John Barnes.

John Barnes said the woman who raised him hinted before her death about a decade ago that she was not his biological mother. "She requested that I come over there by myself, and she wanted to talk to me. I think that's what she was trying to tell me," he said.

Years earlier, Barnes had started his own investigation...

..."This story's really strange. I can't believe it myself sometimes." Barnes said he was born in 1955 — the same year a 2-year-old Stephen Damman disappeared — but only saw his birth certificate once and no longer has a copy. He said the FBI is looking into the discrepancy as part of its investigation. I wonder if he requested a birth certificate from the state of Florida and it came back 'not found'?

Richard Barnes is retired and lives in a rural subdivision just eight miles from his son, although the two have not talked in about a year. Richard Barnes said his son was born in a Navy hospital in Pensacola, Fla., on Aug. 18, 1955. "We brought him home two days later, and he's never been out of our sight," the elder Barnes said, referring to John's childhood.

During his research on the kidnapping, the younger Barnes said he drove to Newton, Iowa, where Jerry Damman, the father of the missing boy, lives. But they did not meet. "I didn't want to, you know, say, 'Well, I'm your long-lost son,'" Barnes said. "I just wanted to get a look at the guy."

Physically, Barnes resembles somewhat the Iowa farmer he believes could be his biological father, though they are far from identical. Both men have fair skin with a ruddy complexion. Both have blue eyes and wide, round faces. Reached Wednesday in Iowa, Damman told the AP "it's almost too good to believe" that Barnes could be his son.

Barnes said he has become close with the woman who could be his sister, Pamela Horne of Kansas City, and talks with her on the phone each day. They did a home DNA test in March.
"We got a really high score on it," indicating that they two could be related. "That's how the FBI got involved," he said.

See photo's here: news.yahoo.com

1 comment:

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