California Mother Beaten and 4-Year-Old Son is Abducted: The Horrific Disappearance of Mitchell Owens

The Vivid Faces of the Vanished

Ora Owens lived in an apartment in the eastern Menlo Park, California area with her three young sons.

On February 3, 1983, a police officer came to her apartment and asked about a report she made regarding a stolen purse one month prior.

Later that same evening, a man broke into Ora’s home.

According to the Charley Project and police reports, the man entered the apartment through a window and severely beat Ora.

During the assault, Ora’s 4-year-old son Mitchell woke up, walked into the room, and witnessed the attack.

Ora screamed for her baby to run away.

Ora’s attacker then choked her unconscious with a telephone cord and left her for dead.

The next day, neighbors found Ora and called 911.

She was admitted to the hospital, where she would spend weeks in recovery.

Luckily, two of her sons slept through the attack.

Little Mitchell was nowhere to be found.

Authorities asked Ora about the events of that day and if she knew her attacker.

Ora told police about the officer who came to take to the report.

Authorities said they have no record of an officer ever visiting Ora’s apartment that day.

She told them about a man she met the night before her attack.

She was at the Enlisted Men’s Club at Moffet Field Naval Air Station in Mountain View. The man offered to buy Ora a drink, but she refused and walked away from him. She felt he followed her home that evening. She described him as white, about 25 years old, 6’ with brown hair, a mustache, and blue eyes.

For some reason, the police initially considered 4-year-old Mitchell a runaway and refused to look for him.

Pressure and criticism from his mother, Ora, caused the investigation into his disappearance to occur.

According to the Doe Network, Ora received numerous phone calls in the years after Mitchell's disappearance. The man calling her threatened to take her other two sons.

The caller was never identified.

Mitchell was 3’0 and weighed 40 pounds when he vanished.

Please contact the Menlo Park PD with any information at 650-858-3308

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Mitchell Owens Age ProgressionState of California Department of Justice

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