Left and Center: Daniel circa, 1959
Right: Age Progressed to age 62
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: June 18, 1959
Missing From: Perdido Bay, Baldwin County, Alabama
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: December 12, 1954
Age: 4 years old
Height and Weight: 3’0″ and 50 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Male, Brown hair, Brown eyes, Daniel has scars on his fingers and on his tongue
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A pair of gray boxer shorts, Daniel was carrying Nehi Soda bottle when he vanished
NCMEC Number: 600229
Details of Disappearance
Daniel Barter was last seen while camping in Perdido Bay, Alabama on June 18th 1959. Daniel was accompanied by his parents, his siblings, and another cousin or relative. Daniel was last sighted playing near the banks of Perdido Bay. He was carrying a Nehi Soda Bottle at the time of his disappearance. Daniel apparently wandered away from the area while his parents were setting up some fishing equipment. After 15 minutes had passed, his mother went out too look for him. She was unable to locate Daniel.
Authorities initially believed that Daniel became the victim of a catastrophe. The area that Daniel went missing from was swampy and alligator infested. Extensive searches turned up no sign of Daniel or his remains. Authorities even shit and killed two alligators but found no trace of Daniel when they cut them open. Since Daniel did not like water, it’s not believed that he went into the bay voluntarily and it was very shallow and clear.
Investigators do not believe that Daniel wandered into the woodsy areas or the undergrowth as he had no shoes on. Daniel was only wearing a pair of shorts at the time. After searches conducted revealed no traces as to where Daniel was or went, authorities decided that the catastrophe theory was unlikely. They looked into the possibility that Daniel was abducted but there was no evidence found to suggest this at the time.
It’s possible that Daniel and his siblings were being stalked prior to his disappearance by an unknown male. According to Maxine, at two instances, she would see a car that would at one point stop in front of the Barter home and drive away when she approached it. She also saw this happen when she went to a convenience store and left Daniel and his siblings in the car. A car pulled up next to the Barter car and the man stared at the children. Maxine found out about this when they returned home from one of her children. This occurred the morning before Daniels disappearance.
Neighbors also reported that one evening, a strange man was seen peering into the room that Daniel shares with his brothers. The neighbors went to the place where the man had been standing and found footprints at the spot. Authorities made renderings of the prints to see if they could find a match but to no avail.
The Barter family believes that the man who allegedly stalked them is responsible for Daniels disappearance. This man has never been identified. In 2009, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Baldwin County Sheriffs Office reopened the investigation into Daniels disappearance. It was reclassified as a kidnapping. Many of the original investigative files pertaining to the case were lost or destroyed in the years after his disappearance.
Daniels case remains unsolved. Both of his parents and one sibling who was born after his disappearance have since died. His siblings are still alive and hope to find out what happened to Daniel.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Baldwin County Sheriffs Office 251-972-8589
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Federal Bureau of Investigation