A 10-year-old boy got permission from his mother to help mow a neighbor's lawn before taking off on in his red bicycle. That afternoon on May 24,1993, was the last time the Maryland boy's been seen.
George "Junior" Burdynski went missing around 4:30 that day. He would be 38 years old today.
His disappearance led to an extensive search in Prince George County. Burdynski was never found, but the investigation did uncover a sex-abuse ring in which six young boys were molested a couple miles from Burdynski's house, according to WUSA 9.
Homeowner James Kowalski, who is still behind bars, and his renter and co-worker, Steven Leake, wound up in prison after the investigation, the station reported. The pair, however, were never charged in Burdynski's disappearance, though evidence showed the boy had visited the home at least once because he had logged in to play a video game.
"It’s not the same without him," Burdynski's father, George, told WUSA 9 in 1993. "I ride down the road and just hear a kid holler, 'Daddy,' and I’m almost wrecking my truck to stop to see who’s hollering Daddy."
Burdynski's little sister, Virginia, who was 6 at the time of his disappearance told WUSA 9 that her brother was her world.
"That was my big brother. He was my world. He was just awesome in my eyes. He still is awesome in my eyes," she said.
Virginia Burdynski detailed what it was like when her brother went missing.
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"Days went on and I just seen my parents crying," she told WUSA 9. "And I asked my Mom when is he coming home? When are they gonna find him? And she said I don’t know. We’re looking."
Police say Kawalski and Leake befriended young boys, gave them gifts and took them into their home, where they sexually abused them and often videotaped the acts, WUSA 9 reported.
Upon the revelation that the two men were suspected of sexually abusing children, Burdynski's mother, Barbara, told WUSA 9 at the time that she was devastated.
"My heart just fell. I felt like I couldn’t even swallow," she said.
Capt. James White told The Washington Post in 1993 that the fact investigators couldn't nail down exactly when Burdynski was last seen made it a harder case to solve.
"Someone out there knows something," White said then.
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