In August 1912, the disappearance of Bobby Dunbar swept national headlines. The four-year-old had been on a fishing trip with his parents at Swayze Lake in Louisiana when he vanished.
Authorities assumed the boy had been kidnapped and set out on a nationwide manhunt. Eight months later, police encountered a man named William Walters traveling with a young boy in Mississippi. Walters called him “Bruce.”
It was unusual to see a small child traveling alone with a man, and no one was satisfied with the explanation that he was the son of an employee, Julie Anderson. Walters was taken into custody and the Dunbars asked to come and identify their son.