Missing – June 18, 1959 – Lillian, AL
4-year-old Daniel Barter vanished while on a camping trip with his family in Lillian, AL, on June 18, 1959. Danny was one of seven children born to Paul and Maxine Barter and was described as a happy child.
On June 16, 1959, Danny and his three older brothers helped their parents load up the car and the family hit the road their camping vacation with Paul’s brother, Jim Barter, on Perdido Bay. Later that weekend, on the morning of June 18th, Danny and his mother ran to the store to grab a few items. When they returned, the family started gathering supplies to go fishing. Danny, barefoot and in a pair of gray boxers, grabbed a Nehi soda and began playing nearby. Several minutes later, Maxine looked around and realized she could no longer see Danny. The family began searching the area nearby and then up and down the beach for any signs of Danny. When it became apparent no one on the beach had seen Danny, they contacted the police.
Authorities began searching the land and water with bloodhounds, helicopters, divers and horses. Alligators in the area were caught and cut open on the off chance he’d been captured by one. Still, no trace of Danny was ever found, not even the Nehi soda bottle he’d been drinking from.
Prior to his disappearance, Maxine recalled a man parked across from their home who hastily drove away as she approached. Neighbors recalled seeing a man by the Barter boys’ bedroom, but he fled before being identified. Mobile Police Department did discover footprints outside the window and made casts of the prints, but it’s unknown where those prints are now. There are also accounts from the morning of his disappearance where witnesses recalled a couple in a truck driving down the road leading to the campsite.
In 2006, NCMEC released the first age-progressed photo of Danny as an adult, aged 52, and three more photos were released in the years to come.
In 2008, the FBI reopened Danny’s case after receiving a tip that someone had overheard a public conversation discussing Danny’s case. Unfortunately, nothing appears to have come from that.
Sadly, Danny’s parents passed away without ever knowing what happened to him. However, his siblings still hold some hope that Danny will be found alive and healthy and that somehow he was raised in a safe and happy environment.
Learn more about Danny’s disappearance in Episode 3 of Unforgotten.
Danny continues to be listed as an active missing person in the ALEA and NamUs databases.