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Taken
Every year, 800,000 kids are reported missing in the United States. Most run away from home, get lost, or are abducted by a family member. A small number of missing children are snatched by strangers. On a Sunday morning in 2008, five-year-old Kamron Well By Cindy Rich
Comments () | Published September 15, 2010
Lanashia Wells with her two children, Tylah and Kamron. Photograph by Matthew Worden.
Fairfax County police officer knocked on Lanashia Wells’s car window around 8 in the evening. Wells had been sitting in the parking lot at Landmark Plaza for more than seven hours. Waiting. She’d left only a few times—once to let police into Kamron’s bedroom so the dogs would have his scent, another time to check under parked cars, trying to find him.

“Ma’am,” she remembers the officer saying. “I have something to show you.”

Wells didn’t want to see what was in his hand—she was sure it was a photo of her five-year-old son lying in a ditch. Nobody had seen the boy since he’d wandered away from his grandfather at the grocery store that morning.

“No, thank you,” she said, rolling up her window. What do you mean something to show me? she thought. I’m not looking at that.

The officer knocked again. “It’s okay,” he said. “I just want to show you a picture.”

The blurry photo—taken from a security camera near Rita’s Water Ice, across the parking lot from the Shoppers Food Warehouse—showed a woman wearing high-heeled boots and smoking a cigarette, holding a small boy’s hand.

“That’s my son,” Wells said.

“Are you sure?” the officer asked. The photo had been taken from behind, so she couldn’t see the boy’s face.

“I just know,” she said. “That’s my son.”

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 09/15/2010 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Articles