What was the story 50 years ago?
On the morning of June 18, 1959 Daniel Barter at the age of 4 was camping with his parents Paul and Maxine Barter, three of his six siblings and a cousin at Perdido Bay in Alabama while his other siblings were staying with other relatives. The camping area was not a public camping area, but a private lot on private property, which was in a very remote area back in 1959. Daniel Barter was playing near the banks of Perdido Bay while his parents were setting up some fishing equipment. Fifteen minutes after Daniel’s Mother saw him playing near the banks, she noticed he was gone and started searching for him. There have been many speculations as to what happened to Daniel Barter.
Could he have fallen in the swampy water?
The swampy water at Perdido Bay was filled with alligators and snakes. The authorities investigated the possibility that Daniel Barter fell into the swamp and was eaten by an alligator. They even set off dynamite in the water holes to see if a body would come up. They killed and gutted them, but didn’t find any remains of Daniel Barter. Maxine, his mother said that Daniel did not like water and in her opinion he would not go in the water. The water was very shallow on this day and a person could walk a far distance without getting wet.
Could Daniel have wandered off into the woods or gone into the bushes near the campsite?
Daniel was barefoot, and since the bushes were thick and prickly, his family doesn’t believe that he would have gone in the bushes. Investigators used bloodhounds to search for Daniel Barter in the woods, but they didn’t find anything. The Navy brought in 115 men to search the land and waters by ship and helicopter. There were many civilian volunteers that walked through a 5 square mile radius through the woods and swamps hoping to find him.
Could someone have kidnapped Daniel Barter?
The Charley Project website has said that Daniel Barter’s Mom remembered that there were some strange things that happened prior to Daniel Barter’s disappearance which could point to a kidnapping. They feel that someone could have been stalking the family for a long time before Daniel disappeared. Although there was never a call from a kidnapper asking for a ransom, these strange incidents could be clues that Daniel Barter was kidnapped.
One month prior to Daniel Barter’s disappearance, his mother saw a strange car parked in front of their home, which was in the 1700 block of Thrush Drive in Mobile, Alabama back in 1959. She actually went up to the man in the car and he immediately blocked his face with a newspaper and sped off.
On another evening some short time after the strange car, a neighbor saw a stranger looking into Daniel Barter’s bedroom when the boys were sleeping. The neighbor contacted Daniel’s mom and they went over to the window where the man was standing and he was not there. They did notice some footprints, so they called the police and the police made a cast of the footprints and took pictures.
The day before Daniel Barter disappeared, Maxine drove Daniel and one of his brothers to the store. She left the boys inside the car. When the boys returned home Daniel’s brother told his Mother that a man drove up next to them and stared and them for a while, and then drove away.
Could these clues point to kidnapping case? They are clues that seem like someone was watching the family.
What is going on today and where is Daniel Barter’s Family Today?
Nearly 50 years after Daniel Barter’s disappearance, the case has been re-opened. Many of the original files by the investigators have been lost or destroyed. Anderson Cooper from CNN reported about Daniel Barter on February 3, 2009 as an unusual open case. Daniel’s father died in 1965, Daniel’s mother died in 1995, and another brother who was born after Daniel disappeared, died of cancer in 1997. The rest of the siblings are still alive. There is a photo of Daniel Barter on the Daniel Barter website and a photo of what he would look like today.
What you can do on June 20, 2009.
On June 20, 2009, there will be a candlelight vigil on the beach at the same spot that Daniel Barter disappeared. The family is asking that you gather at Americas Best Inn at 1517 S. McKenzie St Foley, Alabama in the hotel boardroom at 6:00 p.m. After the initial conference, they will meet at the beach. If you are unable to be there in Alabama, please light a candle on June 20, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. eastern standard time to remember Daniel Barter. Every candle, prayer, and thought will help the family even if you can’t be there; a lit candle means you are there in spirit. Maybe someday, we will know the truth of what happened to Daniel Barter on June 18, 1959.
Daniel Barter website: http://www.dannybarter.com/
Anderson Cooper: http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2009/02/03/coldest-missing-case-gone-since-59/
Charley Project website: http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/b/barter_daniel.html