Details of Disappearance
Thomas disappeared with his brother, Richard
, and their mother, Norma
, from Sacramento, California on July 15, 1978. They didn't have air conditioning and Norma would often take the children for rides in the car to stay cool. They may have done that on they day they disappeared.
Norma's ex-husband lived in Washington state and no one realized the family was missing for a week. Relatives went to the Houghlands' apartment on Sutterville Road and found it intact, with all their clothing and belongings inside and some dishes in the sink.
The children's bicycles were inside and there was an uncashed welfare check. The only thing that was missing was Norma's car, a gold or light blue 1965 Pontiac LeMans with the California license plate number 254SBI. It has never been found.
Norma's parents and one of her two sisters have since died, as have Thomas and Richard's father. The case remains unsolved and little information is available.