Dorothy Brown finds herself in crowded places peering at men she doesn't know. She looks for blue eyes and curly blond hair that remind her of her missing brother. She hasn't seen him in more than 50 years, but she holds out hope that he might be out there.
Brown's brother was 22 months old when he walked away from the family home in the secluded Catskill woods on Denman Mountain.
He was never seen again. [...]
Frederick Holmes, known as "Freddie" or "Tookie," disappeared on May 25, 1955. Hundreds of men and boys searched the rugged terrain for days. Troopers concluded that the boy fell into one of the gorges that slice across the mountain or that a black bear grabbed him. They could never explain why no remains of the boy's clothing turned up. People searched the crevices and woods for a month. No trace of the baby was ever found. [...]
Gertrude Holmes, the boy's mother, believed her baby was taken and sold. Police came to her with photographs of nameless boys that had been found. Gertrude died at age 61. Her daughters say she was never the same after her son vanished. [...]
[...]Thirteen years after the boy went missing, Roderick Holmes, a town highway worker, walked into the same woods that swallowed his son and slashed his neck and wrists. He was found lying face down in a thicket near the Tri-Valley Central School, "a stone's throw" from where the boy disappeared, the then-Times Herald reported in 1968. He was 51. [...]
[...]the sisters provided a swab sample to authorities in Sullivan County, where Haiss still lives, and in Milo, Maine, where Brown lives. It will take about six months to create the profile and then be analyzed against DNA profiles of unsolved cases around the country.
Freddie's profile could be compared with the DNA profile on file in the infamous "Boy-in-the-Box" case in Philadelphia. A boy with curly blond hair and blue eyes was found, beaten to death, in a cardboard box in 1957. He was about five years old. Brown has always feared the boy might be Freddie.