Details of Disappearance
Timothy's aunt, Delany Davison, had custody of Timothy and his two brothers at the time of his disappearance. His parents lived in Winter Haven, Florida and were going through a divorce in 1985. Delany is Timothy's father's sister. She had been caring for her nephews for about a year. They lived in the 2100 block of north Charles Street in Decatur, Illinois.
Delany stated she took Timothy to Brettwood Village Shopping Center in the 3000 block of north Water Street on October 15, 1985. She left him unattended and asleep in her unlocked red 1981 Dodge Omni at approximately 12:00 p.m., while she took three other children inside the Kroger grocery store at the center to shop.
When Delany returned to the parking lot about half an hour later, Timothy had vanished from the vehicle. He may have been seen getting into a black two-door 1978 or 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass with Indiana license plates. There has been no sign of him since that time.
A deaf-mute child found on the streets of Juarez in Mexico, not far from the U.S. border at El Paso, Texas, was thought to be Davison. The Mexican boy, who was found in November 1987, was about the right age, matched Davison's physical description and had the same speech impediment. A comparison of footprints determined that he was not the missing boy, however.
Curiously, Timothy is not the only missing person in his family; his mother's sister, Cindy Smith, disappeared from Winter Haven, Florida in 1987. Her disappearance remains unsolved and it is not thought to be connected to Timothy's.
Both of Timothy's parents were investigated in his case and ruled out as suspects early in the investigation. They were living in Florida when he disappeared.
Timothy was a slow learner in 1985 and he did not know his own last name or home address. In 2013, authorities dug up the yard of his aunt's former residence, looking for evidence in his case. His case remains unsolved and is classified as a non-family abduction.