Details of Disappearance Shawn was last seen on December 8, 2002 in Wilmington, Delaware. He had been on a weekend visitation with his father, Thurman R. White (referred to in some accounts as "Truman"). A photograph of Thurman is posted with this case summary.
On December 9, Thurman went to the apartment of Shawn's mother, Tonya Graham (referred to in some accounts as "Tania"), in the 900 block of Vandever Avenue. He did not have the baby. He told her a woman would come by later and bring Shawn.
After two hours, when no one had appeared, Thurman and Graham argued about it and he stabbed her three times in the neck. Graham's five other children were also at the residence at the time of the attack. Graham had to be hospitalized for her wounds. She survived and was released from the hospital after two days.
Thurman fled the apartment before the police arrived, driving his 1989 Chevrolet GM4 pickup truck with the Delaware license plate number C48428. He turned himself into police to face charges the next day. He still did not have Shawn and refused to say where he was. Thurman has at least two other children, one who lived with Graham and one who lived with him at his home in the 200 block of 29th Street.
Police originally charged Thurman with second-degree assault for his attack on Graham, but later upgraded the charges to first-degree attempted murder. He has a criminal history for offenses including trespass, making terroristic threats, and assault.
Thurman pleaded guilty to assault, possession of a deadly weapon during a felony and endangering the welfare of a child. He was sentenced to twelve years in prison and seven years of probation after his release.
Police suspect foul play was involved in Shawn's disappearance. They have searched Thurman's home, his boat, and a landfill for the baby's remains, but have turned up no evidence thus far. Thurman continues to refuse to tell what happened to Shawn; he claims Graham knows the child's whereabouts. Shawn's case remains unsolved.
- Wilmington Police Department
Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated August 18, 2021; age-progression updated.