Disappearance of Kevin Collins remains a mystery: ID investigates

Profile pic of Kevin Collins
Kevin Collins was just 10 years when he vanished without a trace. Pic credit: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

People Magazine Investigates on ID is looking into the tragic case of Kevin Collins, who vanished without a trace from a San Francisco neighborhood in 1984.

Kevin was just 10 years old when he went missing, and no trace of him has been spotted since. This was considered a landmark case, one that mobilized all of San Francisco and helped to highlight the plight of missing children across the United States. Kevin’s image was one of the first to appear on a milk carton.

On February 10, 1984, Kevin was waiting for the bus after basketball practice when he mysteriously disappeared. He never made it onto the bus, and he never made it home.

Witnesses came forward to say they’d seen a tall, blonde man with a large black dog talking to Kevin shortly before he vanished. The police zeroed in on convicted pedophile Wayne Jackson as he matched the description. He had pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a seven-year-old boy just two years previously.

However, witnesses failed to pick Jackson out of a lineup, and a search of his apartment revealed zero incriminating evidence. The cops were forced to let him go.

Jackson then fled to Canada, where he lived under a different name. He passed away in 2008.

The cops reexamined Kevin Collins’s case in 2013

However, in 2013, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr said that Jackson was still a person of interest and that they were taking another look at the case.

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The cops had subsequently learned that Jackson had been charged in Canada in 1973 with kidnapping and sexually assaulting two 13-year-old boys. The US cops had been unaware because he’d been charged under a different name.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to have been any further outcome in the investigation into Wayne Jackson.

A few years ago, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children issued an age progression photo portraying an estimate of how Kevin might look at 39 years old.

In 2013 the police found human remains at a San Francisco home which they suspected may have belonged to Kevin. Despite a lack of confirmed remains, it has long been assumed that Kevin was murdered.

More from People Magazine Investigates

Follow the links to read about more murders investigated by People Magazine on ID.

Ira Einhorn, aka the Unicorn Killer, was a semi-famous environmental and antiwar activist and hippie guru, who counted the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia among his friends. But he was also a murderer who brutally killed his ex-girlfriend Holly Maddux.

Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman were two teenage friends who vanished without a trace after Ashley’s parents, Danny and Kathy Freeman, were brutally murdered in Welch, Oklahoma. It’s assumed that the girls were kidnapped and killed by Warren Welch, Ronnie Busick, and David Pennington.

People Magazine Investigates airs Friday at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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