Left: Mitchell circa, 1983
Right: Age Progressed to age 33
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: February 3, 1983
Missing From: Menlo Park, San Mateo County, California
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: November 21, 1978
Age: 4 years old
Height and Weight: 3’0″ and 40 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: African American Male, Black hair, Brown eyes, Mitchell has a right lazy eyelid, he has a surgical scar on his left rib area, he has a scar on the upper portion of his nose, he may use the first name “Michael”
NCMEC Number: 601850
Details of Disappearance
Mitchell was last seen alive on the night of February 3rd 1983 in Menlo Park, California. On that night, an unidentified man broke into his home and brutally beat his mother, Ora Owens. Oras three sons were at the house at the time and two of them slept through the attack. Mitchell woke up and walked into the room that the beating was happening in.
Ora screamed at Mitchell to run away and the man assailant attempted to strangle Ora with a phone cord. Ora fell unconscious. Neighbors of the Owens family found Ora brutally beaten the next morning and had her rushed to the hospital where she later regained consciousness. She spent weeks recovering from her ordeal in the hospital.
Mitchell has never been seen or heard from since and his kidnapper has not been identified. Ora did catch a glimpse of what the man looked like. The man that allegedly attacked her and took Mitchell is described as being 6’0″ feet tall, with brown hair and blue eyes, he also had a mustache and tattoos on his arms. He was approximately 25 years old at the time.
Ora believes it possible that the man who attacked her was the same man she met a night before the attack at the Enlisted Men’s Club at Moffett Field Naval Air Station in Mountain View, California. This man apparently tried to buy Ora a drink but she declined the offer and walked away. She believes the man followed her in her car until she got out and reached for the door. She thinks he drove off after this.
Authorities also consider a man who possibly posed as a police officer as a possible suspect in Mitchell’s abduction. Ora stated that a man dressed as a police officer knocked on her door to make an inquiry about a report she made for a stolen purse. This occurred just a few hours before the break in occurred.
The Menlo Park Police Department did a check of records and confirmed that no police officer on their force had gone to the Owens residence that night. No one has been named as Mitchell’s kidnapper.
After Mitchell’s disappearance, Ora received phone calls from an unidentified male for many years. The man would repeatedly threaten to kidnap Ora’s two remaining children. The phone calls have not been officially linked to Mitchell’s disappearance.
Ora has criticized the initial investigation into Mitchell’s disappearance. Authorities classified Mitchell as a runaway child and refused to do anything to investigate his case. She also stated that no one looked for him hard enough because the family was African American and poor at the time. Authorities hope that new technology can solve Mitchell’s kidnapping and Ora’s beating.
Mitchell has never been located and his kidnapper remains unknown.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Menlo Park Police Department 650-858-3308
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children