ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- There is one St. Louis area family who is not surprised the three kidnapped Cleveland women were found alive after so many years.
Pam Akers is the mother of Shawn Hornbeck she said, “I have said for years we can’t give up on these long terms, just because they’re not found immediately or four years or ten years it doesn’t mean they can’t be found alive.”
Hornbeck was kidnapped in 2002. The case was broken in 2007 when Michael Devlin kidnapped a second boy and an alert witness spotted Devlin’s truck. Shawn is now 21.
Pam Akers said, “He’s doing absolutely wonderful, I couldn’t be even more prouder. He’s being like any 21 year old boy, is just having fun, enjoying life finally being the person that Shawn can be. It’s absolutely wonderful."
She said Shawn recently got a new job as a metal fabricator and that it took him about 1 to 2 years to get back to normal. Her message to the three Cleveland women and their families is simple: everyone can survive this.
She said, “There is life after this. The 10 years they were gone will not define their lives what they do now afterwards is their life.”
Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke worked the Devlin case. He said the public needs to call in with any information no matter how unimportant it may seem. There were instances of people who believed they spotted Shawn Hornbeck long before he was rescued but they weren’t sure so they didn’t call police. One incident occurred at Six Flags.
Toelke said, “There was a boy with his father that thought he saw Shawn and he said dad I think I went to school with that boy. I think he’s Shawn Hornbeck or something like that but I don’t believe they called in.”