10-year-old Bianca Lebron lived with her parents and older sister Janissa in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The fifth-grader excelled academically, loved to dance and sing, and had a pet hamster named Nina.
On November 7, 2001, shortly before 8:30 am, Bianca and Janissa walked to Elias Howe School. Bianca told her friends and her teacher not to expect her in class because her uncle was picking her up for a shopping spree at the mall. A few moments later, a two-toned van with tinted windows pulled up to the school, and Bianca got inside. She hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
Bianca’s teacher didn’t question her so-called “uncle” — she simply marked Bianca absent for the day and watched her drive off with the strange man. Had she called Bianca’s mother to confirm the identity of the man, she would have learned that Bianca didn’t have an uncle.
Bianca’s parents first became worried when she failed to return home by 4:30 pm, but assumed she had visited a friend after school as she often did. At 8:30 pm, they reported her missing.
The mysterious driver was described as being in his 20s or 30s, with dark curly hair, long sideburns, and a beard. He wore a blue long-sleeved shirt with “Gap” embroidered on the front, jeans with the cartoon character “Fat Albert” on the rear left pocket, and brown Timberland boots.
Six months later, a POI was announced: 20-year-old Jason Lara, who often went by the last name Gonzalez. Bianca’s friends said that Jason was her “secret older boyfriend” and that the two had been seen kissing in the past, despite the fact she was only 10. Jason reportedly had a friend who owned a van similar to the one Bianca was last seen in and he fled Bridgeport a month later.
In 2002, Jason was tracked down in Florida and he was charged with second-degree forgery in an unrelated case. He denied any involvement in Bianca’s case and was ruled out as he had an alibi.
Later, Bianca’s teacher was suspended for allowing her to leave the school with a strange man. Her parents sued Elias Howe and received a $750,000 settlement; the school is now closed.
22 years later, the case of Bianca Lebron remains unsolved. She was last seen wearing khaki pants, a green and beige camo shirt, a denim jacket, and black boots. Today, she would be 32.
If you have any information, contact Bridgeport PD at 203-576-7671. A $62,000 reward is available.