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Outcome Of Genetic Tests To Determine If Man Is Missing Son

May 5, 1989

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ A couple are anxiously awaiting the results of genetic tests to determine if a New York man who claims he was abducted when he was a child is their son.

Joe and Marjean Hagans’ 3-year-old son Jonathan wandered away from them at Jacksonville Beach on June 11, 1968. Police speculated the boy had stumbled onto a nearby boat ramp or slipped into the ocean and drowned.

No trace of the boy was found.

Mrs. Hagans, however, said she never believed her son was dead and launched her own search.

Four months ago, the couple contacted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and asked that the investigation be reopened.

The state referred the case to Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Paul Brown, who agreed ″as a courtesy basically to get the information on the national computer again.″ Brown, as a young police sergeant, had investigated the boy’s disappearnce in 1968.

Meanwhile, David Bonnabel of Buffalo, N.Y., was pursuing his belief that he was abducted as a toddler and raised in isolation by a widow who lived in a camper somewhere near Lafayette, La. He said he was abused and kept from attending school.

Bonnabel said he ran away when he was 15 and supported himself by working odd jobs. He now runs an interior decorating business and has invested thousands of dollars trying to locate his family.

At the same time the Hagans got the case of their son reopened in Florida, an associate of Bonnabel was checking with Florida authorities for records of disappearances similar to Bonnabel’s account.

An investigator who worked with Bonnabel saw similarities in his case and Jonathan Hagans’ disappearance and passed the information on to him.

Mrs. Hagans said she was overwhelmed when she met Bonnabel.

″I want to smother him with love. I’m a mother and I guess I want to pile up all those years and just put them together,″ she said.

But Bonnabel added about the genetics tests, being run by the FBI: ″We won’t be sure for two to six weeks. We want to keep a low profile.″

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