Details of Disappearance
Tavish was admitted as a patient in the Hughes Spalding pediatric unit of Grady Memorial Hospital on Butler Street in Atlanta, Georgia on March 6, 1993. He was in the custody of the Department of Family and Children Services (DCS) at the time.
He underwent minor surgery over the weekend and was recuperating in a semi-private room in the ward during the early morning hours of March 9. His roommate was another infant, and that baby's mother and sister were spending the night in the room also. A nurse checked in on them at 6:45 a.m.; at the time, Tavish's roommate's mother and sister were asleep on a couch in the room. When the nurse checked the room again fifteen minutes later, Tavish was gone.
Tavish's roommate's family was thoroughly investigated by police; their home was searched and all the family members were interviewed. They were eventually cleared as suspects in his case. Tavish's mother was being treated for schizophrenia in a mental institution at the time of his abduction; neither she nor other relatives were considered suspects in his disappearance. In fact, no one in his birth family was ever even aware that Tavish was in the hospital at the time of his abduction.
There were two persons of interest in Tavish's disappearance. One was an "agitated" man who tried to enter the hospital's pediatric wing after 8:30 p.m. the night before Tavish was last seen. Visitors to the children's wing after 8:30 p.m. are required to carry passes that identified them as authorized to be there; this man didn't have a pass and had no legitimate reason to be there. The man is described as tall and thin and was wearing a baseball cap. He disappeared before security could be called.
The second person of interest was a woman aged about 25 years old, described as 5'5 and 160 pounds, with a medium-brown complexion, strong cheekbones and almond-shaped eyes. She wore black pants, a long black coat and large earrings, and her hair was pulled back with a large bow. She was carrying an infant with curly hair. A man saw the woman just outside the hospital and noticed her because she was very attractive. Another witness saw the same woman inside the hospital.
Sketches of two women wanted for questioning in Tavish's disappearance are posted with this case summary.
The DCS has terminated Tavish's mother's parental rights to his three siblings and was seeking to terminate her rights to Tavish as well when he disappeared; they had taken custody of the baby when he was a few weeks old and placed him with a foster family. His mother sued the hospital over her son's kidnapping in March 1995; the suit was settled out of court for $600,000.
Authorities stated that a woman who was pretending to be pregnant may have abducted Tavish in an attempt to raise a child. They speculated she lived between four and twenty-four miles from the hospital. No evidence supporting any theory has been recovered and Tavish's case remains unsolved.