Unsolved Mysteries of the World
The Disappearance of Garnell Moore S01E06
No one really knew Garnell Moore and no one knows what happened to him.
He was a six year old boy, who never attended school, had no medical or dental history, and had no mother or father. There is only one photo ever taken of him, age four. He was missing for three years before anyone had taken notice. This is the mystery of The Invisible Boy, the disappearance of Garnell Moore.
Garnell was born in Baltimore Maryland on May 18, 1995 to a career criminal mother, who spent most, if not all of her adult life behind bars on drug related offences. His father was a petty criminal who was transient and mostly homeless. Garnell spent the earliest of his years with his paternal relatives on the West side of Baltimore, a very poor, and rough neighbourhood.
Garnell found himself living at his aunt Belinda's rental house at age six. Belinda Cash never legally adopted Garnell or even attempted to make any effort to officially become the caretaker of young Garnell. Belinda never registered Garnell in any schooling and there are no medical or dental records available, suggesting that the young boy lived a life without any benefits of society.
One day, Garnell Moore, age 7, invisible to the world, vanished. And no one took notice. The last confirmed sighting of Garnell is by his great aunt, Trina Morton, who saw him playing outside of Belinda Cash's house in August of 2002. Trina Morton, who was the caretaker of Garnell's siblings, called upon Belinda to have him over for a weekend visit. Belinda said it was not a good time, that she was going into labour, and the visit never happened. Trina called to reschedule the visit, but was again told by Belinda it was not a good time because this following weekend she was moving to a different rental house.
Three years had passed and no one had heard from or seen Garnell Moore, who would have been 10 years old and in grade 5. Belinda Cash's address and phone number she forwarded to family members was fictitious and the family lost contact. Garnell's relatives did not realize he had disappeared until June 2005 when a chance meeting with Belinda occurred and she was questioned about Garnell. Belinda told them that he was away on a school field trip in Virginia.
However, school was not in session in June. Trina Morton, worried about the welfare of Garnell called schools throughout the area to check whether Garnell was enrolled. Employees told them privacy laws prevented the disclosure of any information. Employees at the Juvenile Services Center also said they were at a loss, since Morton had no legal guardianship of Garnell.
Troubled that Garnell was living with foster parents or strangers Trina Morton then called the city Department of Social Services for guidance, but they told her there was nothing they could do since he had not been deemed a child in need of assistance.
Garnell's family, now highly apprehensive and not getting any assistance contacted police. Police did a records check and found out Garnell was never enrolled in school, anywhere. This led them to question Belinda Cash and she admitted that she had no means of taking care of Garnell three years ago and so she left him on the steps of a social services building in the 500 block of north Hilton Street near Edmondson Avenue in West Baltimore.
Police were suspicious of aunt Belinda and asked to search her current residence. Police scoured the house to find no sign of Garnell, and absolutely no sign that he had ever lived there. A background check by police showed that Belinda had minor criminal activity on her police report and no known child abuse charges.
Police tracked down Garnell's father, who had no fixed address, but indicated he thought his son was with Belinda. He told police the last time he saw Garnell was with Belinda at Easter either in 2002 or 2003. His girlfriend at the time confirmed this statement to police, saying, she too, saw Garnell with Belinda during Easter. Both could not accurately say if it was 2002 or 2003.
The neighbourhood of where Belinda lived with Garnell before she had moved was canvassed by police and several witnesses claim to have seen the little boy playing outside on the street and in yards in 2001 with Belinda Cash identifying as the boy's mother.
The Police Department's missing persons unit got heavily involved with the disappearance and believed that no harm had come to Garnell but they felt that something was wrong. Detectives searched the old address on a chance that Garnell was somehow left behind. The abandoned house was in bad shape, with plaster dust leaking from the ceiling and moving boxes stacked up in every room. Police investigated and came up empty. They returned again, this time when the homeowner had finally cleared out the house. They searched every room and brought in Cadaver dogs in the event that something dreadful had happened to young Garnell. The police and the cadaver dog's found no evidence.
Police kept questioning Cash and find her very hard to pinpoint. They do not know if she is telling the truth or lying. Cash agreed to take a lie-detector test for detectives. The test, which senses deception by analyzing voice stress, showed that she was being truthful in answering all but one question. The answer she gave, however, according to police "wasn't something that would pin her to a criminal act.”
Questioned repeatedly by police she maintained that she left Garnell on the steps of a social services building. However, she told relatives several different stories about how she had to leave Garnell. Again, police could not determine if she had simply made a mistake in the address or if she lied altogether about abandoning Garnell on the steps of a building.
Garnell's family worries that perhaps harm had come to young Garnell, either via Belinda Cash or by a complete stranger. They cannot believe that the little boy would simply vanish without a trace.
Police indicated no social services agency in Maryland had any record of Garnell. The Hilton Heights Social Services Building's employees do not recall ever seeing Garnell Moore on their steps, nor do they have such a child within their records. A house-to-house check of the neighbourhood surrounding the address also turned up no leads. No one saw Belinda Cash or Garnell Moore at the Social Services Building.
And with that, police determined it was as far as they could take the investigation and handed it over to
social services and juvenile court and to this day is filed as a mystery.
If Cash's story is true it's possible that a stranger saw the boy on Hilton Avenue and invited him home, perhaps even taking him in as an unofficially adopted child.
There is a deep distrust among the Baltimore public of any police, or social service and residents will often do anything to circumvent the system. Jerry Nance, forensic supervisor for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, believes this mystery can be solved - happily even.
Age progression photos were done several years ago to show a teenage Garnell and more recently an adult Garnell. These photos will be available to view at our Facebook Page. To find us simply search Unsolved Mysteries of the World.
If you have any information about the disappearance of Garnell Moore please contact The Baltimore Police Department at 443-984-7385 or The Centre for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-The Lost, that's 1-800-843-5678
If you are the person who lovingly took Garnell into your home and adopted him as your son, know that you did no harm, and please allow him the chance to know his brothers and sisters and be able to once again see his great aunt Trina, or as Garnell called her Auntie Frina.