Details of Disappearance
Arthur was last seen in Brecksville, Ohio on February 4, 1977. His mother, Ann Marie Noske, initially claimed he'd wandered away from her on February 8, while they were at a store at the Parmatown Mall in Cleveland, Ohio. He has never been heard from again.
On February 18, Ann changed her story and implicated her boyfriend, Dr. Stuart Kutler, in Arthur's death.
Ann and Arthur had moved in with Stuart in January 1977, while he was separated from his wife. Arthur had become close to Stuart and called him "Uncle Stu", but Stuart began physically abusing him from the first day they were left alone together.
On February 4, three weeks after the Noskes had moved into his Brecksville home, Stuart became enraged and beat Arthur severely because the child had gotten out of bed without permission. Both Stuart and Ann tried to revive him with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and a tracheotomy when they realized he had collapsed, but it was too late.
Photos of Stuart and Ann are posted below this case summary. Ann didn't call the police because Stuart begged her not to, telling her it would ruin his medical career. Stuart and his father, William, tried to burn Arthur's body in the fireplace and, when that didn't work, disposed of the charred remains in an unknown location.
The custodian of William's apartment building said he saw three plastic bags of children's winter clothes burning in the building's incinerator around the time of her murder, and although he didn't see anyone put the bags inside the incinerator, he did see William in the incinerator room as they were burning.
Ann was given immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony against Stuart. He was charged with aggravated murder, and maintained his innocence, but after a two-week trial he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree manslaughter.
Stuart, who had a severe alcohol problem, stated he'd been under extreme emotional stress at the time he killed Arthur, but was aware that his actions could cause the child to die. He was sentenced to six to twenty-five years in prison. Stuart died of pneumonia in prison in March 1978, at the age of 31.
Arthur's body has never been found, but foul play is suspected in his case due to the circumstances involved.