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Missing Andrew John Amato
Andrew, circa 1978; Nathaniel Bar-Jonah, circa 2000
Missing Since 09/30/1978
Classification Endangered Missing
Date of Birth Used 02/01/1974 (47)
Age 4 years old
Height and Weight 3'6, 38 pounds
Clothing/Jewelry Description A maroon hooded zip-up snorkel jacket, dungarees, a white Mickey Mouse t-shirt, and brown suede shoes with dark brown stripes on each side of the instep.
Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Blond hair, blue/hazel eyes. Andrew's nickname is Andy. He has a one-inch scar on the right side of his head at the front of the hairline, and a mole behind his right ear.
Details of Disappearance Andrew resided in a mobile home on Richards Avenue in Webster, Massachusetts. He played in the woods behind nearby Ash Street Trailer Park with his seven-year-old sister and their six-year-old cousin during the morning hours of September 30, 1978. Andrew and his cousin went deeper into the woods without his sister.
Then Andrew stumbled and injured himself, dropped and lost his favorite toy, then began crying and running in circles. He refused to leave without the toy. His cousin told him to stay put and walked back to the family's home for assistance at approximately 10:30 a.m. but Andrew disappeared by the time they returned to the woods. He has never been heard from again.
An extensive search of the area, which lasted ten days and included the National Guard, produced no clues as to Andrew's whereabouts. He and his sister and cousin had been forbidden to play in the woods, and had sneaked there on the day of his disappearance.
Andrew disappeared only fifty yards away from Route 52, which is now Interstate 395. Some people theorize that he wandered over to the road and was picked up by a motorist passing through. Webster, Massachusetts is on the Connecticut border and also only a ten to fifteen minute drive from Rhode Island.
Authorities excavated a wooded area off of Minebrook Road in June 1998, nearly 20 years after Andrew disappeared. Investigators learned that evidence related to his case may have buried in the forest, which was approximately five miles from the location of Andrew's disappearance. The search failed to produce any materials connected to his case.
Officials discovered a handwritten list of names entitled "Lake Webster" in Nathaniel Bar-Jonah's possessions in Montana in December 2001. A photo of Bar-Jonah is posted with this case summary. Bar-Jonah, whose given name was David P. Brown, was raised in Dudley, Massachusetts.
He was convicted of the abductions and attempted murders of two Massachusetts boys in 1977. Bar-Jonah was also charged with the 1996 murder of Zachary Ramsay"> in Montana, but the charges were dropped due to a lack of evidence in October 2002. Zachary's remains have never been located.
Bar-Jonah was named as a possible suspect in the 1973 Connecticut disappearance of Janice Pockett"> and the 1997 disappearance of Amanda Gallion"> from Wyoming. He has never been charged in connection with either of the cases. Bar-Jonah was convicted of child molestation in Montana in February 2002. He died of a blood clot in a Montana prison in April 2008, at age 51.
Investigators began pursuing another lead in Andrew's case in November 2003. A man, whose identity has not been released, confessed to his murder in 1999. He died of lung cancer shortly thereafter. His family did not report it to the police for four years. Authorities excavated a rural area near Burrillville, Rhode Island, as specified in the confession, but they didn't find anything of interest.
Some news reports stated that Andrew's name was on the Lake Webster list, but these accounts were incorrect and nobody has been able to tie Bar-Jonah to Andrew. Foul play is suspected in Andrew's case.
Investigating Agency / Department