Livonia, MI

Deceased Mother Prime Suspect In Her Son's Disappearance

Still Unsolved
D'Wan SimsPhoto by(The Detroit News)

On Sunday, December 11, 1994, the Wonderland Mall in Livonia, Michigan was filled with shoppers. With it being during the Christmas season, families were all over the mall shopping and having their children meet the mall’s Santa Clause. Shoppers recall that it was 4:00 pm when they heard an announcement throughout the entire mall. 

They were told that 4-year-old D’Wan Sims was lost after he wandered away from his mother.

The police would arrive on the scene to meet D’Wanna Harris who was looking for her son. D’Wanna told the police that she had looked around the mall for 2 hours before she went to mall security. The mall security verified this and also told the investigators that they conducted their own search immediately. Sadly, they were unable to find D’Wan. D’Wanna went to Foot Locker where her mother, Beverly Harris, worked part-time. She left work and joined the search after being surprised that she wasn’t notified earlier. 

The following Monday, other agencies would join in on the search. The FBI, Detroit Police Department, and the Michigan State Police would all lend support and resources to help find the missing 4-year-old. Search dogs were brought to the mall in the hopes that they would pick up on D’Wan’s scent. They weren’t able to find any trace of him. They all conducted interviews with shoppers at the mall, as well as employees a the various stores. Surprisingly, none of them remembered even seeing D’Wan with his mother — they just remembered seeing D’Wanna at the mall by herself. 

This would remain consistent once the police looked at the security footage. After combing through hours of tape, the investigators did not see D’Wan appear on the tape at all. Not once. D’Wanna wouldn’t appear on the tapes until 4:00 pm. The tapes showed her entering the mall and immediately approaching a cleaning lady (this would be the same cleaning lady that she told her son was missing). This contradicted her statement that she spent 2 hours looking around the mall for her son. It was clear to the police at that point that D’Wan was never even at the mall that day. 

The police were beginning to focus their suspicion on D’Wanna. 

D’Wanna would go on to fail the two polygraph exams that she was given. The police then searched her home but didn’t find anything of significance. D’Wanna told the police that she took her son to the laundromat before going to the mall that day. She claims that he was watching cartoons while she did the laundry. The police were able to determine that none of the channels on the laundromat's television showed any cartoons after 11:00 am. D’Wanna also said that she went to her mother’s house that day as well. However, no one recalled seeing D’Wanna that day or her son. 

Sadly, D’Wanna died of a heart attack in 2020. The police believe that she took the truth of D’Wan’s case with her. To this day, D’Wan Sims is still considered missing. 

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