Details of Disappearance
James disappeared with his best friend, John Hundley. The boys were last seen walking to John's Fairfax, Ohio home from the Frisch's restaurant in the 4700 block of Wooster Pike in Cincinnati, Ohio at 4:00 p.m. on October 15, 1964. Neither of them have been heard from again. They were reported missing at 10:30 p.m.
Both boys were in the third grade at the time of their disappearances and were often together. Prior to going missing, John reportedly told some friends he planned to run away.
Operating on the idea that they had hopped on a freight train and ridden out of town, the local police alerted law enforcement across the nation. The runaway theory was eventually discarded, however, as time passed without any trace of the children.
A four-year-old girl disappeared from Fairfax in August 1964, two months before John and James, and was found murdered a few days later. A thirteen-year-old neighbor boy confessed to the crime. There was speculation that her murder and the boys' disappearances were related, but authorities stated they could found no connection.
Three years after John and James disappeared, a seventeen-year-old Marine stationed in California confessed to their murders. He had lived in Fairfax in 1964 and said he stabbed the boys to death and buried their bodies. The suspect later recanted his statement and said he'd made up the story to get out of the military. He passed a polygraph and still maintains his innocence.
Little evidence is available in James and John's disappearances. They lived about three blocks apart in 1964. Authorities believe their bodies are probably somewhere in the Fairfax area.