February 3rd, 2009
03:02 PM ET

Gone since '59

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/03/fbi.cold.case.jpg]

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

On its sad and growing list of missing persons, the F. B.I. has posted an unusual open case.

It’s not the circumstances that make it so strange. It’s when the victim vanished. The date? June 18. The year? 1959. Eisenhower was President. Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba. “Mack the Knife” was playing on the radio. And a boy named Daniel Barter vanished without a trace.

Daniel Barter was born in Mobile, Alabama on December 12, 1954. A little more than four years later, the toddler was with his family on a Gulf Coast camping trip along the border of Florida and Alabama.

On June 18, 1959, the F.B.I says Daniel was playing near the banks of Perdido Bay. It is the last time anyone saw the boy alive. His parents said Daniel never returned to their campsite that day. They also told investigators that their son did not like the water. Despite a massive search, authorities never found the 4-year-old. The F.B.I. indicates that he was 3 feet tall when he disappeared, and weighed 50-pounds.

Today, the only apparent lead federal agents have in their hunt for Daniel Barter is a black and white photograph, showing a cheery boy with brown hair smiling into a camera. The agency has progressed the image to render what it believes Daniel would look like if he were 52.

Take a look at the pictures.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Barbara

    No matter what the reason was that Danial came missing the only thing everyone should focus on is looking around and maybe just maybe you'll see him. Everyone always wants to find fault. He's missing and what would you want if it were your loved one. I pray for the family and hope for the best. Theres a power higher than all of us.
    God Bless all of you who do care. Thats whats wrong with our world. Things happen beyond our control

    February 5, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  2. Shocked

    I totally agree with amazed! You really need to cut that family some slack. I have two kids of my own and I know how I would feel if it were one of mine. You people that are saying all these bad things should be tied up and beat! I hope you NEVER have to find out what this poor family has had to endure. God Bless the family that has NEVER given up looking for their son,brother. I hope that you find out something soon so that you can have some closure. I will pray for you every day and I will have my church praying for you and anybody else that I can talk to that will pray. Keep in mind that God loves you and will give you the strength that you need to get through this time.

    Your sister in Christ

    February 5, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  3. Mel S.

    To everyone who is saying "Why did the parent let him out of their sight... why did they let him play on his own..." keep in mind this was back in the 1950's! Times were MUCH different back then.
    Parents didn't have to keep an eye on their kids 24/7 like they seem to now. The terrible things that happen to kids nowadays, obviously did happen then, but it wasn't as widely known because people didn't talk about that kind of stuff back then. Of course kids were being kidnapped, murdered, molested, etc in the 1950's, but it wasn't a topic of discussion, and fear, like it is today. So don't knock his parents for not staying glued to his side constantly.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  4. Barbara Heran

    I wish everyone would STOP blaming the parents unless you have proof they did something. Today with the use of the internet and TV there is a change that Danny will see himself and realize he was taken from his REAL family 50 yrs ago. Everyone open your eyes and look for Danny.

    February 5, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  5. Lynn

    Thank you to those of you that take into consideration how things were back then. It was a more innocent time. True, child molestors, kidnapping and serial killers were not publicized as much as they are today. People have changed over the years because of the media and its reports of crime. Seems crime is all we hear of when we watch the news or read a paper.
    I am a child of the 70's and early 80's. Even then, communities were more trusting. We used to sleep at night in the summer with our windows open. Nowadays, doing that is gambling your life and family.
    Bottom line, I think those of you that think Danny had irresponsible parents need to read the articles in the website http://www.dannybarter.com. His family loved him very much, especially his mother. The campsite was a family place and private property. Everyone felt safe there and why shouldn't they? There are family members of Danny reading what you all write so consider their feelings.
    Also, alligators, snakes and other creatures did not have anything to do with this. I am positive! I suggest those of you read up on alligator behavior to get a better understanding. They had champion blood hounds in this search and Danny's scent stopped at the road, not the water or the woods. According to Danny's family, he was afraid of the water.
    One last point, if Danny had fell to the mercy of an alligator, do you really think the FBI would be involved?

    February 5, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  6. James Livingston

    Did they look on the shores for blood or any other evidence for him. Would if a dog ate him or a bird. Maybe check Guantanamo bay he might be tortoured. Check underneath the ground around that area.GOOD LUUUUUUCK!! 30 SECONDS

    February 5, 2009 at 9:06 am |
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