Richard Ray Barnett

Left: Richard circa 1982 Right: Age Progressed to age 31

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: August 31, 1982 from Grangeville, Idaho County, Idaho

Classification: Non-Family Abduction

Date Of Birth: November 26, 1979

Age: 2 years old

Height and Weight: 2’6″; 32 pounds

Distinguishing Characteristics: White Male, Brown hair, Hazel eyes, Richard had hip braces on both of his legs to correct a bow legged condition but the braces were removed prior to his disappearance, he has a hairline scar over his left eye and a mark below the same eye, he may use the nickname “Ricky”

Clothing/Jewelry Description: Red/blue coveralls, a pajama top, and cowboy boots

Circumstances of Disappearance

Richard was last seen in Grangeville, Idaho on August 31st 1982. He was staying at his grandparents egg and dairy farm with them and his father. He was meant to stay there for a few weeks. His mother was in southern Idaho at the time. The farm was located 7 miles north of Grangeville and took up several hundred acres.

Richard was last seen sitting in a haystack wagon in front of one of the chicken farms. Dozens of workers were handling a delivery of chickens. He vanished and was never seen again. His family started to search for Richard about 15 minutes later but could not located the child. The authorities were alerted about his disappearance at 10:30 am that day. Extensive searching provided no evidences to what happened to the boy.

Bloodhounds were used to try to find him, they traced his scent to the fence line on the Northwestern part of the farm. The trail did not go any further. His grandparents, Waldo and Martha McChoard, were suspects in Richards case for almost 20 years. Authorities believed that they took Richard and placed him in an adoption ring out of the dislike they had for his mother. They wanted someone else to raise him.

Martha acted oddly and took a polygraph to clear her name. The results of the original test were inconclusive but she took another in 2001 and was able to clear her name. Waldo agreed to and was due to take the exam but died before he could.

Another theory in Richards case is that he was abducted by a stranger, possibly one of the farm workers. There is no evidence pointing towards anyone in Richards case.

Richard has never been found and no trace of him has been found. His parents are still alive and live in Oregon. His mother continues to search for Richard and hopes for a resolution in his case.

Richards case remains unsolved and is classified as a non family abduction.

Investigating Agency

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Idaho County Sheriffs Office 208-983-1100

NCMEC Number: 600215

Source Information:

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

The Charley Project

The Doe Network

NamUs