Police found him on July 8, a tall brown-haired young man sitting on a curb in Glen Burnie, Md.
He told them is name is Jimmy Conners and that his parents parked outside a Burger King and told him he couldn't go home with them. He went in and bought a Coke, and when he came out they were gone. Today Conners is living in a group house in Anne Arundel County, and police and social workers are still trying to find his home.
The task is a hard one. Police are sure Conners is from the Washington area but although he is about 21, he is retarded and has the mental development of a 5-year-old. His parents, they say, seem to have done everything they can to make it impossible to tell who he really is.
Conners has told police that he can see the Washington Monument from his home -- he describes it as a large two-story house with a winding drive -- and says the home team is the Washington Redskins. Detective Gordon D. Deans of Anne Arundel ycounty police, who is leading the search, and social worker Susie Beagle have taken him for drives in the area, and he recognizes parts of Arlington. But Conners can't tell them where he lives.
"It's a bizarre case," Deans said yesterday. "The whole thing doesn't make any sense. It looks like his parents went to great lengths to make sure that he wasn't going to get back home." Deans said a strip of tape that could have had his address and telephone number had been removed dress and telephone number had been removed rom his belt. He was carrying a 35-millimeter camera, but when police developed the film in search of clues they found it had all been exposed.
"Even if the exposure and everything is wrong, you get lines marking the frames," Deans said. "The film was exposed before it was put in the camera." Conners told Deans that his father had loaded the camera.
Deans said that Conners doesn't have a bad memory: Its just that he hasn't been given any thing to remember. Conners said his parents didn't tell him his surname until February this year. "He was told by his father time and time again not to tell anyone abouit his home, where he he lives, who his father is, or what his father does,'' said Deans.
Deans believes Conners is telling the truth, and so does John Coffin, an attorney called in by social workers to look after Conners' legal situation. "When you listen to him, his story is really based on what he knows. If you try to add something, he'll object. It seems rather plausible," said Coffin. "It just doesn't add up to making him bogus."
Deans thinks that Conners' father is in some kind of security business, and the apparent wealth of Conners' background indicates his father is high ranking.
Conners told him his father used to wear a uniform with two bars on the shoulders and a bird, or wings. Deans is sure that Conners' father was once in the Green Berets. Conners says that his father carries a gun in a shoulder holster to work.
C onners told him that his father worked in an office "where they make people disappear." Deans said they took this literally at first, and checked with the FBI's Witness Relocation Program - but his father doesn't seem to have been connected with that.
Conners said his father wears suits now, and has an office in his house, where men come at night. He had been told never to go in there, but he said he looked in every now and again.
Deans is confident he'll find the parents. "It's not like the family comes from inner-city Baltimore. We're talking about rare persons, and a rare house. Maybe we've stayed with Conners too long; maybe he's been given the wrong name." He has sent fingerprints to the FBI and plans to go through dental records. "It's a long tedious job."
In the meantime Conners remains a ward of the state. He desperately wants to go home to his parents, said Deans. "Jimmy is a nice little boy in the shell of a man," he said. "This desertion. . . you just can't accept that. It's really hurting him."