Part 1 of the Lost Boys series, originally appear in the Waterloo Region Record in 1998. The Record fabricated the alternation accessible online afterwards the author, Tony Reinhart, batten about this case on a accurate abomination podcast that was appear beforehand this month.
As the sun rose hot and ablaze over Avondale Avenue, Keith Henry greeted the day like any added nine-year-old freed from academy for the summer.
No affairs aloft breakfast, and accessible to suggestions.
“Just an accustomed kid who went out to comedy with the added kids in the neighbourhood” is how Edith Henry, now 79, remembers her son.
“An average, boilerplate child.”
All over Waterloo, hundreds of Keith Henrys greeted July 12, 1963, the aforementioned way.
But they, clashing Keith, would accomplish it home that night.
In those days, best mothers backward home with their kids, but Edith Henry couldn’t allow to. She waited tables and formed in factories while her husband, Oliver, toiled in architecture and delivered auto parts.
With bristles children, they bare the money, abnormally aback Allen, their oldest at 23, was in a London hospital, bedridden afterwards a 1958 car accident.
Besides, 13-year-old Rita was added than able to apperception Keith, the babyish of the family. With summer holidays in abounding swing, he amused himself best of the time anyway.
As the temperature climbed to 84 degrees, Rita Henry acquainted it was aerial time Keith got out of her beard and into the sun. She accomplished the aftermost of the cafeteria dishes and shooed him from the kitchen.
With annihilation but time and his new Timex to acquaint it on, Keith Henry addled out in chase of adventure.
When he bootless to appearance up for supper that night, his parents wondered if he had abandoned how to apprehend his agleam new watch.
It wasn’t the aboriginal time. The year before, he went to the amphitheatre and backward a few hours best than he should have.
But as night fell, the family’s agitation angry to fear.
Where was Keith?
First they asked themselves, again they asked neighbours, rousting several from beddy-bye on a Friday night.
They best their way through the atramentous of the Canbar Lumber Co. backyard abaft the Henry home at 14 Avondale Ave. N.
They arrested the backcountry abaft the Sunshine Appointment Equipment Co., breadth the Westmount capital stands today.
Still no Keith.
Byhalf-past midnight, it was time to accomplish The Call.
Hello, police? Our son is missing.
To accomplish The Call is to aperture a brainy barrier no ancestor anytime wants to cross. Once you absorb the police, you are acceptance the botheration is bigger than you can handle.
The dematerialization of Keith Henry became the community’s problem.
Six Waterloo policemen hustled over to the house. From there, they set out in an ever-widening circle, analytic for any assurance of the boy.
Their chase did not acknowledge Stanley Rice, a afflicted 20-year-old, pacing his bedchamber on Dunbar Road in Kitchener.
Nor could they see beyond Kitchener into Allan Nicholl’s home, abreast Lancaster and Guelph streets, breadth the nine-year-old lay hawkeye and algid on a balmy summer night.
Rice and Nicholl had all the answers, but for now, no one was allurement questions.
As addition aurora aloft over the horizon, Waterloo Badge Chief Lloyd Otto was accepting worried. He alleged out his absolute force of added than 30 men.
Harold Basse, an aggressive adolescent constable who would alter Otto two years later, was one of them.
“The mood, in Waterloo particularly, was of grave concern, that a nine-year-old went missing with no trace, ” Basse, now retired, remembered.
“It was a grave affair not alone to police, but the citizenry as well.”
Kitchener, which again had its own badge force, would accompany the accomplishment anon enough. But in those agitated aboriginal hours, the focus was on the Henrys’ Waterloo neighbourhood.
The chase advance into adjacent Waterloo Park, breadth Keith and his pals were accepted to roam.
One acquaintance led badge to several favourite timberline forts, but all were empty.
Word got about that a dozen bales cars had been sitting on a abuse clue abreast the Henry home aback Keith vanished. Badge traced the cars to Galt, but all were empty.
They arrested the still-vacant floors of the appointment architecture at the sparkling new Waterloo Square mall. If the boy had been there, it didn’t show.
Meanwhile, Keith’s description formed off the presses and over the airwaves: Four anxiety tall, 55 to 60 pounds, cutting amber arrested continued pants, a long-sleeved amber shirt and blooming canvas active shoes.
A chapped photograph showed a adolescent Keith, antic a close-mouthed grin, slicked-back beard and his Sunday best, analytical sheepishly from the Record’s pages.
Over in Kitchener, breadth the agitation had yet to reach, Stanley Rice and Allan Nicholl agape on the aperture of an Arnold Street house.
They adopted a advertise and a rake.
By Saturday afternoon, anybody attractive for Keith Henry had to accede the worst, if they were austere about award him.
He ability be dead.
Hoping they were wrong, badge asked Waterloo’s works administration to accessible the dam and cesspool Silver Basin at Waterloo Park.
The abbreviating baptize appear affluence of mud, but no Keith Henry.
As chat of the dematerialization spread, calls began to crawl in.
Late Saturday afternoon, a St. Clements man saw a boy hitch-hiking arctic from Waterloo. That night, badge arrested every cottage, bivouac and bivouac in the area.
In the advancing days, abounding added callers would address youngsters hitch-hiking.
Every tip was pursued and no abode was off limits.
On Sunday, Keith’s ancestors and accompany crept forth in their chrome-laden cars, blockage playgrounds and fields.
On Monday, a St. Jacobs woman saw kids arena in a afford abreast the Conestogo River.
And on Tuesday, a man told badge about atramentous birds ambit aloft a University of Waterloo woodlot. He feared a body ability be there.
Nothing, annihilation and nothing.
The chase was alpha to cull agitated associates of the Henry ancestors in altered directions.
On Tuesday morning, four canicule afterwards his son vanished, Oliver Henry collection to the badge base and asked them to analysis a acreage abreast Drayton that was accustomed to Keith.
He didn’t apprehend one of his added sons, 19-year-old Lavern, had already been there.
As Oliver Henry larboard the badge station, a baby army of off-duty badge and firemen accumulated a chase party, aiming to awning added arena faster.
For three adhesive hours that afternoon, 40 abashed men in hip-boots scoured 15 bug-infested acreage of marsh and blubbery brush, analytical into culverts and dabbling beneath foliage.
Sgt. Kenneth Schneider, a adolescent badge administrator who would see this case through to the end, swatted mosquitoes and alleged out for Keith over a battery-powered speaker. No answer.
As a movie, it would accept been archetypal Hollywood, with one above exception: There would be no acute analysis of a abashed child, athirst but unhurt, abashed in the bushes. There would be no blessed ending.
When the chase failed, badge began steeling the association for the affliction — but were accurate to leave allowance for hope.
They floated two theories about Keith Henry: Either he ran abroad and was abashed to appear home, or he had been abducted.
Less than a anniversary afterwards their son disappeared, as a basin at UW was partly drained and abject with grappling hooks, Oliver and Edith Henry already had a activity which approach would prove true.
“Nothing will accomplish me accept that my boy has run away, ” Oliver Henry said as two accomplished bloodhounds, 50 apprentice militia, and two chase planes abutting the effort.
“I anticipate he’s been best up by addition and I anticipate addition about actuality knows about it and isn’t talking.”
Oliver Henry was right, but wouldn’t apperceive it for addition bristles years. In desperation, he looked for his boy everywhere he went.
So aback he spotted some afresh dug arena forth Highway 7 & 8 west of Kitchener, he pulled over to adjust through it — award nothing.
A anniversary afterwards that acute Friday, the bloodhounds and militia men were alleged off. With boilerplate larboard to look, searches were scaled back.
Waterloo burghal board took the abnormal footfall of announcement a $1,000 accolade for advice about the missing boy.
A lot of money for addition with answers. But there were no takers.
Without a distinct clue of what happened to Keith Henry, his ancestors and the bodies of Kitchener-Waterloo had no best but to try to move on with their lives.
On Wednesday, July 24, a annihilation in city Kitchener took over as the day’s top story. News of the chase for the boy was bargain to a single, abrupt book on the Record’s third page.
“Waterloo badge today appear no new developments or clues in the chase for nine-year-old Keith Henry, missing aback July 12 from his Waterloo home.”
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