- Kevin Ayotte was last seen as he played in his family’s summer home on September 30th 1982. He was last known to be upstairs at approximately 4:45 pm. His mother went outside briefly and when she returned, Kevin and his 6-month old Springer Spaniel puppy named Flash were gone. His older brother was still in the home.Extensive searches took place immediately preceding the boys disappearance. He had wandered away from home before but always returned within a short period of time. Kevin was known to take off his shoes and diaper but those were not found in the search for him.On October 5th, Flash reappeared and authorities hoped to gain some clues from him. His coat was combed and his stomach was pumped. The only thing he had eaten for days was swamp grass. Authorities put a tracker on the dog and let it out again, hoping that he would lead them to Kevin. It did not and would always return home.Due to the woodsy and boggy environment that surrounds Kevin’s home, some people have theorized that Kevin may have become lost and subsequently died of exposure.Others have suggested that Kevin might have been abducted by a non family member while his mother was outside of the house but no evidence has been found to point towards this theory. Kevin’s case remains unsolved.
Missing Since: 09/30/1982
Missing From: Sugarbush, Minnesota
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date of Birth: 05/12/1979 (40)
Age: 3 years old
Height and Weight: 4'0, 50 pounds
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A checkered shirt, blue jeans, lace-up sneakers and a disposable diaper.
Medical Conditions: Kevin is developmentally disabled and has a hearing impairment; as a result, he had limited speech skills at the time of his disappearance.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Blond hair, blue eyes. Kevin has a scar on the right side of his chin. He also has a cleft chin.
June 22, 2011
At that time, 29 years ago, an exhaustive search and investigation was undertaken by then Sheriff Tom Tolman and members of the Sheriff’s Office with assistance from other state and federal agencies. That investigation did not succeed in finding Kevin or even determining the exact nature of his disappearance. This case has continued to haunt the Ayotte family, retired law enforcement officials involved in the investigation and active members who have come on the Sheriff’s Office since.
A few weeks ago, Beltrami County Sheriff’s Investigator Scott Hinners reexamined the Kevin Jay Ayotte Missing Person case from 1982 and began running names from the case file through investigative databases. During this search, the investigator located an individual in Michigan using the same name, date of birth and Social Security number assigned to the missing Kevin Jay Ayotte from Beltrami County. Additional assistance was sought by Hinners from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Va. As Hinners continued his investigation he learned that Kevin’s mother and father also were living in Michigan in a town in the same region as the person using Kevin Jay Ayotte’s name. Last week, Hinners, accompanied by a special agent from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, travelled to Michigan and began searching for the subject. With the help of local Michigan authorities, Beltrami County investigators located an individual who had stolen and assumed the identity of Kevin Jay Ayotte and used this new identity for financial purposes.
As it turned out, this suspect was known to local authorities in Michigan. The suspect was interviewed by law enforcement authorities and admitted to the identity theft. The identity theft investigation was left in the hands of Michigan authorities and remains under investigation. Beltrami investigators returned to Bemidji after they made contact with Kevin Ayotte’s parents in Michigan to discuss these developments in the case. Investigators determined it was a coincidence that Kevin’s parents were living in such close proximity to the suspect in the case. This Missing Person Case remains open and under investigation with ongoing assistance from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
2 Other Children Still Missing
Written By: postbulletin Administrator | Nov 4th 1989 - 7am.
It was thought that she might be in the Windom area, where her family had previously lived, but she was never located there. ``Nothing since,'' said Dave Sackett, a Rochester police detective who has been assigned to the case for five years. ``Like any of these cases, the more time that goes by, the more you have to wonder if she's alive. She definitely could have been abducted, but we're not even sure of that.'' Cheryl was among the missing children whose photos were shown following a 1985 television rebroadcast of ``Adam,'' the movie about a 6-year-old boy who disappeared in 1981 and was later found murdered. Cheryl Ann's family no longer discuss her case publicly. ``We haven't heard a thing after all these years,'' said her stepfather, Tom Day. ``You never just forget, though.'' Kevin's mother could not be reached by telephone.
Authorities say that while dozens of Minnesota children are listed by police as runaways or victims of a parental kidnapping, the cases of Jacob, Kevin and Cheryl Ann appear to be the only ones in which investigators believe a stranger could have been the abductor. However, authorities are not even certain that either Kevin or Cheryl Ann was abducted. But in each case, a child is gone, and parents do not know whether that child is alive or dead. ``In a case like this, there's a kind of haunting emptiness for a parent,'' said Bill Cross, a sergeant in the Beltrami County Sheriff's Department, who has been assigned to Kevin Ayotte's disappearance from the start. ``You just don't know. You're looking at a 50 percent chance he's dead, a 50 percent chance he's alive. Most parents would like to know at least that.'' Kevin, a round-faced, sandy-haired little boy, had been known to wander away from home, often with his spaniel puppy, Flash. But he always wandered back, until the afternoon of Sept. 30, 1982. His mother had been away, and when she returned home that day, he was gone from the bedroom where he had been playing. The countryside near the home was wooded and boggy, winter was coming on and fears for the boy's safety were compounded by the fact that he had speech and hearing defects. Hundreds of volunteers and local law enforcement officers combed the wood lots and swamps northeast of Bemidji, but the search was called off after nine days.
Meanwhile, investigators continue whittling a long list of suspects in the Oct. 22 Wetterling abduction as deer hunters were asked to remain alert for any sign of the missing boy during the weekend opening for the firearms deer season. The 33 members of the Richmond Lions Club near St. Cloud said they were offering a $100,000 reward for Jacob's safe return before Nov. 15, the close of the firearms deer season. A $25,000 reward posted in St. Joseph also remains in effect. ``Instead of just looking for deer, look for Jacob,'' Ken Spohn, a member of the Lions Club, urged hunters. The boy was kidnapped by a masked, armed man on a rural road near St. Joseph as he returned home from a nearby convenience store with his brother and a friend. Investigators said Friday they have compiled 3,490 leads about suspicious people or vehicles and have eliminated at least 150 potential suspects. There are differences between the earlier cases and Jacob's: Jacob was grabbed by a man in plain sight of his brother and a friend; publicity surrounding Jacob's case has been more intense and widespread than it ever was in the earlier cases, and authorities still express hope that they have leads to investigate and suspects to question in Jacob's case, something the authorities never had in the earlier cases. Nationwide, only 2 percent of the 23,899 children recorded as missing during the past five years were believed to have been taken by a stranger, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Missing Minnesotans: Kevin Ayotte
February 20, 2018 02:26 PM