It’s inevitable to feel extremely worried whenever a person goes missing. Friends and family members want to keep the faith alive for as long as possible until they can finally find some sort of end to it, may it be something they do not wish to hear or something to celebrate about. Sometimes, the closure they receive is too good to be the actual truth. When a young boy from Texas went missing in 1994, his family was devastated. A few years later, however, he was found in a different country.
His family was surprised by the turn of events, but it soon turned out that not all was the same as before. Nicholas Barclay from San Antonio, Texas, had a troubled family life, according to those closest to him. He frequently argued with his parents and teachers, and he would often act out aggressively towards those around him. Nicholas even got himself into enough trouble that he had a court hearing scheduled due to his dire behavior. Little did his family know that Nicholas would never make it to the hearing.
The boy even went out to play basketball with a few of his friends the night before he was scheduled to appear in court. After the game, all of his friends returned home, but Nicholas was never seen again. Nicholas’s family first thought he ran away to avoid the court hearing, but as time went on, they came to realize he was already missing.
Nearby counties were notified, and flyers were distributed, but sadly, no one was able to offer any clues as to his whereabouts. Finally, on an otherwise normal morning in 1997, a full three years after Nicholas went missing, the Barclay family received a phone call from authorities that left them in disbelief.
The police said that they had found the lost boy. They explained that a young man claiming to be Nicholas was found in a small town in Spain. It was the miracle the family had been hoping for. After three exhausting years, Nicholas was immediately put on a plane and sent back to Texas to reunite with his relieved family. But his family and the police desperately wanted to find out what happened three years earlier.
Nicholas claimed that he was kidnapped and immediately put on a plane to Europe, where he was sold into a child sex trafficking ring. Police in Spain found him, he said, only after he’d escaped. It’s understandable that such a traumatic event would change a person, but the boy’s mother immediately noticed something quite odd. His hair and eye color weren’t unusually different. Nicholas claimed his captors dyed his hair and medically changed the color of his eyes to hide his identity.
Despite the unusual changes with the lost boy, his family firmly believed their son had returned home, even if some family members had their doubts. However, one private investigator named Charlie Parker found the whole story suspicious. Charlie didn’t believe the kidnappers were physically able to change the boy’s eye color. Also, if what Nicholas said was true, the unfortunate events he went through would have most certainly caused him to become withdrawn, but that wasn’t the case at all. Charlie and the other investigators closely examined photos of Nicholas before and after his alleged kidnapping.
Besides the eye and hair change, he noticed one more difference that resulted in an alarming breakthrough. It was his ears. Ears are completely unique to an individual, similar to that of a fingerprint, and apparently, this young man’s ears didn’t match the boy who had disappeared three years earlier. But if the person they found wasn’t Nicholas Barclay, who exactly were the investigators talking to? Turns out, he was a 23-year-old French man named Frederick Borden, who was posing as the 16-year-old boy.
Frederick was also known as the chameleon by Interpol, the world’s largest police organization. Frederick was a wanted criminal who impersonated missing children, and over the course of his life, he had used hundreds of different identities and personalities, his most recent being Nicholas Barclay. Frederick got the idea to impersonate the missing boy when the Spanish police who found him said that he bore a striking resemblance. That was all he needed to hear to pull off his next gimmick. Charlie Parker immediately told the Barclay family what he and the rest of the investigators discovered.
They were in complete dismay at the news. How had they not known this grown man wasn’t actually Nicholas? Nicholas’s uncle, Jason, apparently began to doubt the authenticity of his nephew after he arrived home. Shortly before Jason was interviewed, however, he had passed away. After Frederick’s outing by the police, the Frenchman proposed his own outrageous theory.
Frederick claimed the Barclay family knew he wasn’t their son all along, and the reason they accepted him was to cover up his murder. As crazy as it was, Charlie Parker still wanted to investigate the claim. Was the young boy’s aggressive nature too much for the family? Charlie never found conclusive evidence that the Barclays had something to do with Nicholas’s disappearance. He even went as far as digging through the Barclays’ backyard in search of a body, but he came up empty-handed.
Even though he hadn’t found any substantial evidence, Charlie didn’t quite believe the Barclay family was completely innocent in Nicholas’s disappearance. The family, of course, said otherwise, but with all the mysterious circumstances surrounding the case, no one could really be sure. What a creepy story. Thanks for reading.