Menlo Park, CA

Police Refuse To Look For Missing 4-Year-Old Boy Abducted During Assault They Say Just "Ran Away"

The Vivid Faces of the Vanished

Ora Owens is the mother of three sons. The family lived in the eastern area of Menlo Park, California. On February 3, 1983, a police officer arrived at her apartment. The officer was there to question Ora about a police report on a stolen purse that she had filed the previous month.

Later that evening, Ora was at home with her children when an unidentified man broke into her apartment through a window and severely beat Ora. During the beating, her 4-year-old son, Mitchell woke up. The toddler walked into the room and witnessed his mother being brutalized. Ora screamed for her son to run away, the Charley Project reports.

The man wrapped a telephone cord around Ora's neck, choked her into unconsciousness, and left the single mother of three for dead. The following day, one of the neighbors found Ora and called 911. She was taken to a local hospital, where she spent weeks recovering from the attempt on her life. When Ora woke up in the hospital, Mitchell was gone. Her other two sons slept through the entire attack.

Ora told investigators about the theft of her purse. She told them about the police officer who came to question her about the report. Authorities were unable to locate a record of any officer visiting Ora.

Then Ora told them about a man she met the night before her attack. She met the man at the Enlisted Men's Club at Moffet Naval Station in Mountainview, California. The man offered to buy Ora a drink, but she refused, and when she left, he followed her home. He drove away when she got to her front door. She described the man as white, about 6'0" tall, with blue eyes, brown hair, a mustache, and tattoos on both arms.

For some reason, the Menlo Park Police Department did not believe Mitchell was abducted and considered him a 4year-old runaway. They even refused to search for the little boy. Ora refused to accept this negligent behavior from the police department and after extreme pressure and criticism from Ora, they launched an investigation into the disappearance of 4-year-old Mitchell Owens.

Ora Owens's attacker was never identified. There have been no updates on the case, no arrests made, and no media coverage. Mitchell has never been found.

Mitchell Owens was 3'0" and weighed 40 pounds when he vanished.

If you have any information, please contact the Menlo Park Police Department at 650-858-3308.

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Mitchell Owens Age ProgressionState of California Attorney General

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