The Disappearance of 10-year-old Lonnie Boudreau, Missing from Ottawa, Ontario Since 1981
Lonnie Boudreau was born on September 15, 1970 (although the Doe Network claims February 15, 1970) to parents Elmer and Linda Boudreau in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He was by all accounts very bright, boasting an IQ of 116 at age six and was considered very high-spirited.
His parents divorced in 1975, with primary custody of five-year-old Lonnie and his older sister Lorie going to their father Elmer. Linda had weekend visitation. Two years later, Elmer met a woman with three children of her own from a previous relationship and she soon moved in. Lonnie didn’t get along with her at all and his behavior worsened. His father was able to find a couple named Mel and Pam Spallin through the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) to watch him while he worked during the day. By about halfway through 1977, the Spallins had temporary full-time custody of Lonnie. The family court eventually decided that Lonnie and Lorie needed to soon be reunited with their mother.
During a Christmas visitation that same year, Linda noted that Lonnie seemed to be hyperactive. She immediately asked for and was granted custody of both children. Elmer objected to this arrangement, stating that the girlfriend with whom Lonnie didn’t get along had moved out of the house and had broken up with him. The CAS threatened him with legal action if he tried to interfere. Lonnie was still unhappy under Linda’s care, telling her that he really wished she and his father would get back together. She told him that that would never happen.
The CAS assigned counselor Dave Plummer to help deal with Lonnie’s issues. Although it took a few months, Lonnie began to open up to Plummer and his behavior improved. However, a few months later, he began to become jealous when his sister would accompany him to his visitation with his father. Elmer began to have separate visitations with each child, which later led to Lonnie getting upset that Lorie having time along with their father. Elmer said he wanted to spend more time with Lonnie due to his tantrums. But it never seemed to be enough.
In 1980, Lonnie was placed into a group home with kids his age for six months, after which he went back to his mother. He seemed to be better adjusted and his behavior improved. But it was short-lived. He began attending grade 4 (fourth grade in the States) at Assumption Separate School. The curriculum, which was half-French/half-English, was a struggle for him, as was making friends. The behavioral issues began to resurface.
In late January 1981, Lonnie argued with his father Elmer about how much time they spent together. Elmer said he no longer spend any time with him if he didn’t get his attitude in check, which upset his son greatly. A few days later, Lonnie tied a rope around his waist and lowered himself out his bedroom window. He was found by Vanier police four hours later at a movie theater two miles from home. Elmer spoke to Lonnie immediately after police picked him, and his son never gave any indication that he would do such a thing ever again.
The following day, at 6:30pm on February 5, 1981, Lonnie asked his mother if he could watch TV in the basement. Fifteen minutes later, he was gone and has never been seen again. Linda apparently told police that shortly before the disappearance, Lonnie watched a film called “The Prince of Central Park” about a pair of siblings who run away from home and lived in a tree in New York’s Central Park. Lonnie said “That looks neat”.
As one can imagine given Lonnie’s runaway attempt the previous day, the immediate assumption by both authorities and his parents was that he had absconded again. There were several unconfirmed sightings of Lonnie around Ottawa. Police said Lonnie was “streetwise” and was seen panhandling on nearby Rideau Street a few days after he vanished, a claim his father quickly disputed. There were several bizarre sightings listed here.
Did Lonnie in fact run away? Could he have somehow survived for 40 years? What were things really like in the home? Personally, I think there’s more to this family than we’re being told.
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