TWO-YEAR-OLD Christopher Dansby vanished from a New York City playground in May of 1989.
His disappearance is thought to be part of a black market baby-ring operation after toddlers Shane Walker and Andre Bryant were snatched in eerily similar circumstances. Here’s everything we know.
What happened to Christopher Dansby?
Christopher Dansby, 2, was last seen with his family at Martin Luther King Jr. Towers playgrounds in New York City.
His mother left him with relatives at the park as she needed to pick up food and when she returned half an hour later, Christopher was missing.
Christopher’s relatives told his mother that they saw him playing with a red ball that was not his – and that the ball was gone when he went missing.
The family began searching for the toddler, but could not find him anywhere.
A seven-year-old boy from their neighborhood claimed to have seen Christopher walking on West 111th Street later in the day with an unidentified African-American male with braided hair.
Christopher was last seen wearing a blue jacket, a floral print shirt, blue jeans and green and white sneakers.
He has a birthmark shaped like a figure 8 on his back and a burn scar on his thigh.
There have been no arrests made in connection to the little boy’s disappearance.
What happened to Shane Walker?
Three months after Christopher disappeared, another toddler named Shane Walker went missing from the same playground.
Shane was just 19 months old and at the same playground with his mother when he disappeared in August of 1989.
Shane was playing with two other children when a man approached his mother and began a conversation with her which made her become distracted. When Shane’s mother turned back to look for her son, Shane was gone.
Shane was last seen wearing a blue & white shirt, light blue pants and white LA Gear sneakers.
His hair was braided and pulled back into a ponytail at the time of his disappearance.
He also has a small scar under his chin.
What happened to Andre Bryant?
One-month-old Andre Bryant was abducted from Brooklyn in March of 1989.
His mother, Monique Rivera, was found dead in the woods near City Island Road in the Bronx borough of New York City a day later.
She had been struck on the head and strangled.
A day earlier, she had been taking Andre and her two older sons for a walk when she encountered two African-American women driving a 1988 or 1989 burgundy Pontiac Gran Am Sports Edition car with tinted windows and possible Maryland license plates, according to the Charley Project.
One of the women was approximately 30 years old in 1989 and the other woman was approximately 22 years old with red hair & both were 5″7 and 130 lbs.
The women engaged Monique in conversation about her kids and convinced her to go shopping with them. They bought her some clothes and took her home.
Monique told her boyfriend’s sister, Patricia Bryant that the women used a fraudulent credit card to make their purchases and she planned to go shopping with them again. Patricia agreed to babysit the kids while Monique went shopping.
The next day, Patricia went to Monique’s apartment to babysit. The two women didn’t pick up Monique outside of her apartment, but called her home from a payphone across the corner, asking her to come out and meet them. They insisted that Monique bring Andre with them, so Monique took Andre with her and left her other sons with Patricia.
On March 30, 1989, Monique’s body was found with no sign of Andre.
Are the cases linked?
All three children went missing in similar circumstances in the same year.
All three were African-American.
Both Walker and Dansby went missing from the same playground three months apart.
Both boys lived in the same apartment building and disappeared around the same time – on a Thursday between 5-7pm.
They were also both seen playing with the same two kids the days of their disappearances – a ten-year-old girl and a five-year-old boy who were siblings.
Authorities believe that both boys’ cases are tied to a black market baby-ring operation.
At the time, Manhattan Deputy Chief Ronald J. Fenrich, told the New York Times: “We’ve linked the children’s abductions, but not to the same person.
“Two black men, similar only in their dreadlock hair styles, are being sought for questioning.
“This is completely different from other missing-children cases of recent months”.
Chief Fenrich mentioned a baby-stealing ring as a possible cause of the abductions of the children, saying ”someone who wants a baby who is not qualified to adopt a baby might steal a baby or hire someone to do so.”
The chief said other theories that might explain the disappearances included abduction by a pedophile, an adult who has abnormal sexual desire for children, or simply by a person who wished a child harm.
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Chief Fenrich cited these similarities surrounding the childrens’ disappearances:
- They vanished from the same area of the playground.
- They vanished on the same day of the week, a Thursday.
- They vanished about the same time of day, 7pm in the case Dansby and 5pm in the case of Walker.
- They vanished while playing with the same playmates, a 5-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl, both of whom have been extensively questioned by the police.
- They lived in the same building at 41 West 112th Street in the King Towers.
Unsolved Mysteries Volume 2 will be covering the case and will be released on Monday October 19 on Netflix.
The show’s second volume will feature six new episodes.
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