View Full Version : 2 for 1.....boys found alive in suburban St. Louis

George Foster
01-12-2007, 07:43 PM
Missing Boys William 'Ben' Ownby, Shawn Hornbeck Found Alive in Missouri
Friday, January 12, 2007


William 'Ben' Ownby, left, and Shawn Hornbeck, right.
BEAUFORT, Mo. — A 13-year-old boy missing since the beginning of the week was found alive in a suburban St. Louis home, along with a 15-year-old boy missing since 2002, authorities said Friday.

The boys were found in a Kirkwood home belonging to Michael Devlin, 41, who has been charged with one count of first-degree kidnapping, Sheriff Gary Toelke said.

William Ownby, who goes by Ben, disappeared after he stepped off his school bus on Monday. The straight-A student and Boy Scout was last seen running the few hundred feet down a gravel road to his home.

A friend who left the bus with the boy told authorities that after the two parted, he saw a small white pickup with a camper shell speeding away from where Ben had been walking.

Toelke said the break in the case came Thursday night. Kirkwood city police officers were serving a warrant on an apartment complex when they noticed a white truck matching the description of a vehicle authorities had been searching for in the Ownby investigation.

Kirkwood officers contacted the Franklin County Sheriff's Department and determined where the owner of the truck was. Authorities then searched Devlin's house and found both boys.

Family of Missing Missouri Boy Makes Tearful Plea for His Return Police Search for White Pickup Truck in Search of 13-Year-Old Missouri Boy Police: No Major Breaks in Search for Missing Missouri Boy Toelke said authorities were surprised to find Shawn Hornbeck, who identified himself when found at the home.

Toelke said authorities were still investigating the motive behind the abductions.

"There are a lot of things we don't know right now," Toelke said.

Hornbeck disappeared from his home in rural Washington County in October 2002, when he was 11. He went for a bike ride and never returned.

The sheriff said both boys appeared unharmed. Ownby has been reunited with his family, and the Hornbeck's parents were coming to meet their son in Union, the Franklin County seat, Toelke said.

Franklin County Prosecutor Robert Parks said more charges are likely to be filed.

Wow...both of those boys beat the odds which says that most abducted children are killed within 24 hours of the abduction. A real answer to prayers. Let's hope that guy gets exactly what he deserves in prison.:thumbup:

01-12-2007, 07:50 PM
I don't have children, so I can only speculate the trauma associated with such things.

As for the boy missing for almost 5 years.....can you imagine what his family is going to be going through? The lost and 11 year old and are getting back an almost 16 year old kid.

I pray both of them don't have any long lasting trauma.

01-12-2007, 07:51 PM
I pray both of them don't have any long lasting trauma.

Me too, but I think it would be hard to expect them not to.

01-12-2007, 07:57 PM
Me too, but I think it would be hard to expect them not to.

Particularly Shawn being captive for so long. Still it is good to know he'll be with his family again.

01-12-2007, 08:06 PM
It reminds me of the story from that old 80's television movie "I Know My First Name Is Steven".

01-13-2007, 12:20 AM
As a St. Louis area resident, I can't even begin to tell you the media circus going on here right now. Man, when I heard the news about Ownby being find alive and well, I was surprised, but when I heard about Shawn Hornbeck being alive also, I was so shocked and totally speechless. When Hornbeck first went missing in October of 2002, it was ALL over the news, day and night. I recall the story vividly from then. I knew his name and his face even before this week when it was brought up again. His family looked for him everywhere. Every single year since then, without fail, his parents got back on the news on the anniversary of his disappearance just to get his name out there, talk about the foundation they established for missing children, and just to tell everyone to keep looking for their son as they believed he was still alive. They went on CNN, Fox News, Montel Williams, etc. ALWAYS keeping hope alive that their son would return to them.

Now on Monday, when Ownby went missing, again, it was all over the news. They had tickers scrolling across the screen all day long with his info and even a small picture.

When news broke today, it was unreal. Such joy. Local news stations have expanded their broadcasts by 30 minutes each time just to give updates on this story.

Latest info is that Ownby told his family that his abductor let him watch the news coverage on his own disappearance. He saw his family on TV begging for his return. As for Hornbeck, they said he is with his family being checked out at the hospital and his Grandmother will not let go of his hand for anything.

This is just further proof that miracles do happen and anything is possible.