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Three Children Disappear in Washington Area

October 23, 1996

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Angry parents rallied Wednesday at an elementary school where a 3-year-old disappeared from a day care program _ one of three Washington area children to have vanished this week.

Officials say they have no evidence the cases are linked.

About 100 parents who gathered at the school distributed fliers with a picture of the missing boy, Lamar Arnold, to passing motorists and pedestrians and complained about security at the school.

``The security is nothing. Anyone can walk in this building and take a child,″ said a tearful Andre Shephard, Lamar’s stepfather.

Mayor Marion Barry met privately with the boy’s parents. He also promised to improve training of school guards and monitor visitors entering the building. School officials have pledged to hire more security guards. Webb, with 709 students, has one security guard.

Luticia Arnold-Shephard, Lamar’s mother, said she dropped off her son Tuesday morning at Webb Elementary School in Northeast Washington. School officials said he was at breakfast inside the building about 7 a.m. but never made it to his Head Start class.

A day care worker was supposed to walk the child to class, but it was unclear whether that happened.

In an apparently unrelated case, Dasha King, 11, vanished just a few hours after Lamar disappeared. Her mother, Faith Sawyer, said her daughter was last seen in Northeast Washington talking to a man in a grey van.

On Monday, Karynne Sheldon, 2, disappeared outside a home where her mother worked in rural Prince William County in Virginia. Her mother, Danielle, said she went inside the home for about 10 minutes and when she returned, Karynne was gone.

``You always think this is never going to happen to you,″ Danielle Sheldon, who is six months pregnant, said Tuesday.

Teams searched the area and drained a nearby pond but found no clues.

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