Emmanuel Kalief Birts

Left: Emmanuel circa, 1989

Right: Age Progressed to age 26

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: September 14, 1989

Missing From: Dallas, Dallas County, Texas

Classification: Non-Family Abduction

Date Of Birth: August 4, 1989

Age: 5 weeks old

Height and Weight: 2’0″ and 10 pounds

Distinguishing Characteristics: African American Male, Black hair, Brown eyes, Emmanuel was being treated for an eye infection at the time of his 1989 abduction

Clothing/Jewelry Description: A red/blue/white checkered shirt, light blue colored shorts with red trim, and red/white socks

NCMEC Number: 1229056

Details of Disappearance

Emmanuel was abducted from his home in Dallas, Texas on September 14th 1989 by an unidentified female under false pretenses. His abductor claimed to be a social worker named Debra Manning who first visited his home he shared with his grandmother, Hermane Grady, and his mother, Kisha Birts, on August 12th. She claimed she was making a follow up home visit from the hospital. She told them that Emmanuel had an eye infection which was actually true.

The woman visited the residence once again on September 12th, a month later and two days before Emmanuel’s abduction. She claimed that it was possible Emmanuel had the HIV virus. This was considered plausible since Kisha was known to use drugs during her pregnancy.

The woman showed up a day later on September 13th, this time with a letter she said was from Child Welfare Department. According to the “letter”, Emmanuel was required to go to the hospital to get tested for the HIV and said she needed to take the baby immediately. Kisha wanted to come with them to the hospital but “Manning” made up an excuse as to whys he couldn’t come. She said she’d come to pick him up the next morning.

“Debra” came the next morning on September 14th to pick up the baby. Kisha also left the home and went to Parkland Memorial hospital to ask about her baby’s health. Emmanuel was at home with Grady at the time. When “Debra” first arrived, she claimed she had to go and get a baby seat. She said she would be back in an hour. She did in fact return and Grady gave the baby to her at 10:00 am.

“Debra” didn’t take Emmanuel’s eye medication with her but she promised to be back by 2:00 pm. She never came back and the baby was never seen or heard from again afterwards. His family reported his abduction at 8:00 pm that night when she still hadn’t returned.

His parents were both subsequently tested for the HIV virus and the results came back as negative. This meant that Emmanuel never actually had the virus in the first place. His parents were also both administered to polygraph examinations and passed. They are not considered suspects in his abduction.

Emmanuel’s abductor is described as being African American and was in her 30s at the time of the abduction. She stood at 5’6″ and weighed approximately 145 pounds. She had sandy brown colored hair but it’s been stated this might’ve been a wig she was wearing. She was also noted to be wearing heavy blue eyeshadow. She also had a foreign accent which may have been of African origin. She did claim to own a van but his family members don’t recall seeing any vehicle whatsoever.

Investigators believe the name “Debra Manning” was most likely an alias name. There was an actual welfare worker by that name whom Grady did know at the time. Child Protective Services never authorized anyone to take Emmanuel from his home for any reason at all. It was noted that the unidentified woman always wore a white lab coat and surgical pants. Normal social workers wear normal street cloths.

Due to the nature of the crime, investigators believe that Emmanuel’s abductor might have a history as a con artist. She also had access to his medical records which adds into this theory or possibility.

Apparently, Emmanuel was not the only infant abducted from Texas at the time. On May 18th 1990, a baby named, Davian Jamal Hughes, was abducted from his mothers hospital room in the Baylor Medical Center in Waxahachie, Texas. He was taken by a woman who posed as a family friend. The woman eventually turned herself into police and returned the baby. She took the baby to compensate for her baby she lost to a miscarriage. There’s no evidence she’s connected to Emmanuel’s abduction.

At the time of his abduction, Emmanuel lived in the 2900 block of east Ledbetter Drive with his mother and grandmother. He was born at the home but spent several days at Parkland Memorial Hospital after his birth.

There’s been no sign of Emmanuel since 1989 and his abductor remains unidentified. His abduction remains unsolved and his current whereabouts remain a mystery. It’s possible he’s alive and doesn’t know his status as a missing child.

Investigating Agency

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

Dallas Police Department 214-744-4444

Source Information

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

The Charley Project


Tyler Courier Times 05/30/1990

The Oklahoman