Arlin Henderson: FBI Renews Effort to Find Missouri Boy Missing Since 1991

Categories: Violent Crime
Arlin Henderson at age 11, and how he may have appeared in 2007.
The St. Louis FBI is holding a press conference today to renew interest in the cold case of Arlin Henderson.

Arlin disappeared on July 25, 1991, while riding his bicycle near his home in Moscow Mills, 50 miles north of St. Louis. He was 11. Today Arlin would turn 30.

Arlin's bicycle was found three months after his disappearance in a nearby bean field. Nearly 19 years later, his family holds out hope that their boy is still alive.

Law enforcement has never discovered Arlin's body, though they've tracked down a fair share of leads over the year including speculation that he may have been abducted by Michael Devlin.

Thumbnail image for michael_devlin_2.jpg
Michael Devlin
However, no connection has ever been made to Devlin who was discovered in January 2007 living in his Kirkwood apartment with two abducted boys -- Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby.

The most promising lead seemed to come back in 2001 when a local drug dealer named Josh Spangler admitted to killing Arlin to settle a drug debt with his family. Spangler described abducting Arlin and shooting him in the head three days later with a nine-millimeter handgun. Spangler claimed to bury the body in a shallow creek bed.

Law officials excavated the supposed grave site but could never locate Henderson's body. Afterward investigators became convinced that Spangler made up the story in an attempt to paint the police as incompetent. Spangler -- who was serving a sentence for burglary when he told police the tale -- later pleaded guilty to perjury in fabricating the story.

Arlin's father has passed away since his abduction and his sister was murdered by her estranged husband. According to website for missing children, Arlin's mother continues to list her deceased husband's name in the phone book in the hopes that her lost son may one day find it and call home.

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