Left: Curtis circa, 1989
Right: Age Progressed to age 22
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: November 18, 1989
Missing From: Newark, Essex County, New Jersey
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: October 6, 1987
Age: 2 years old
Height and Weight: 1’8″ and 25 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: African American Male, Black hair, Brown eyes, Curtis has two marks on his back
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A blue Yankees baseball cap, a green jacket, and blue jeans
NCMEC Number: 776157
Details of Disappearance
Curtis McCoy was last seen in Newark, New Jersey on November 18th 1989. He was last seen walking behind his father, Curtis Williams, his fathers girlfriend, Sabetha Moore, and the two baby daughters of Curtis and Sabetha. The family was reportedly window shopping in the downtown area of Newark.
Williams stayed that he discovered Curtis missing when he grabbed for the child’s hand when they were crossing an intersection. William has vanished and was never seen or heard from again.
William was visiting his father and his fathers family in New Jersey at the time of his disappearance for the thanksgiving holiday. He lived with his mother, Lashawn McCoy, in South Carolina and she had full custody of him. Investigators conducted extensive searches for the child but McCoy was never found. They initially thought Curtis may have been abducted by a stranger. His case remains listed as a non family abduction.
Curtis Williams was questioned very extensively regarding his son’s disappearance. Lashawn told investigators that her son did not want to travel to New Jersey for the trip and that she had to reassure him that the trip would be fine.
Investigators initially believed that Williams had hidden Curtis in the local area and that he was living under an alias name. Their searches did not recover any evidence that the child was alive past November of 1989.
In January of 2006, Williams was charged with killing Curtis in 1989. Sabetha told authorities that Williams had murdered the child. Evidence as also found to indicate that he was responsible for Curtis’s death. Investigators stated that they had opened a Grand Jury investigation into the child’s disappearance and Moore testified that Williams had murdered Curtis and reported him as a missing child to cover up his death.
Moore’s statements could not be proven because no evidence was found to indicate the truth of them and she could not remember or did not know the location of Curtis’s grave. In May of 2007, Williams was charged and plead guilty to hindering apprehension in connection to Curtis’s disappearance. He was sentenced to time served and 5 years of probation.
Williams was immediately released from police custody. He and Moore were originally charged with fraud in September of 2005. They both allegedly stole security deposits from the prospective tenants of an apartment and falsely listed Curtis as a dependent on loan. The fraud and murder charges were dropped.
Investigators stated they did not have enough evidence to prove intentional murder in relation to Curtis’s death. This is why a plea agreement took place. Lashawn has criticized the decision. She’s fought to have answers in Curtis’s disappearance since the day he was reported missing. She moved her entire family to New Jersey after her son went missing and never stopped looking for him.
Before his release, Williams confessed to killing Curtis and stated that he has buried his body in a shallow grave located under the New Jersey Turnpike in Jersey City, New Jersey. Investigators believe that he was truthful about the location of the burial because he passed a polygraph about it. Searches were conducted in the area for his body but authorities were unable to find it.
Curtis’s whereabouts remain unknown and he has never been located.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Newark Police Department 201-733-6123
Federal Bureau of Investigation 202-324-3000
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children