Real Name: John Harman-Minieka
Case: Lost Son
Date: June 13, 1990
Location: Bensalem, Pennsylvania
Date of Birth: 1981
Marital Status: Unrevealed
Characteristics: Caucasian male. Blue eyes, blond hair.
Details: On the morning of June 13, 1990, nine-year-old John Harman-Minieka was abducted from his Bensalem, Pennsylvania home by his grandmother, Tracy Davis. That morning, his mother, Camela Harman, discovered that he was missing and that the phone lines had been cut. In the backyard, she found a blanket and a note written by Tracy which stated: Cammy, John will be well-cared for all summer as you well know. Don't worry. He will be dropped off at school time. As a mother, you will have a rest and he will have a great vacation. Take care of yourself. I worry about you. Love, Mom
The note was the culmination of an eight year nightmare for Camela. Tracy had taken off with John on two previous occasions. However, she believes that Tracy is now determined to keep John forever. Their story began in January of 1982 when Camela and her husband of a year separated. John was just an infant and Camela was twenty. She was overwhelmed with the prospect of single motherhood. She reluctantly moved her and John in with Tracy. Ever since she was a child, Tracy had been very controlling over Camela and her sisters. She limited their activities and did not allow them to have many friends.
Camela planned to stay with her mother for only a brief time. Her intentions were to find work and go back to school. Within weeks, she had found a job and enrolled in secretarial school. However, her relationship with her mother remained strained. Tracy wanted Camela to quit school and work; she also wanted her to stay at home and collect welfare. She claimed that it was "irresponsible" for a mother to want to care for her child financially. According to Camela, Tracy began calling the child welfare department to tell them that Camela was an unfit mother.
Camela claims that Tracy's obsession with John became more and more intense. Tracy told her that she was a much better mother to John than her. In September of 1982, Camela came home from work to find the locks on the doors were changed. Tracy refused to let her see John. She soon went to court where she was awarded temporary custody. Camela hired an attorney and fought back. A year passed before Camela was able to see her son. In July of 1984, she finally regained custody of him. Tracy, however, received visitation rights, and continued to take Camela back to court in an attempt to regain custody. One time, Tracy even took John from school and kept him hidden from his mother for three weeks.
Camela did everything she could to keep Tracy away from John. In May of 1988, Tracy put her house up for sale and apparently waited for an opportunity to get him alone. A few weeks later, she had her chance: she abducted John while he was playing with friends. Camela discovered that the two had boarded a flight to Las Vegas that night. Tracy was charged with kidnapping; there was no sign of them for four months.
On February 15, 1989, Camela's sister Holly learned that Tracy and John had secretly returned to Pennsylvania and were staying with Tracy's mother. Holly went to her grandmother's home and confronted Tracy. She found John sitting in Tracy's car. She put him in her car as her husband held Tracy back. Holly was forced to leave her husband behind as she drove John away. After her husband got back home they called the police, but Tracy had once again vanished.
The next day, Camela came to Holly's house to pick up her son. John at first seemed reluctant to come back with Camela. She soon learned that Tracy had lied to John, saying that Camela had moved, thrown out all of his toys, and wanted nothing to do with him. Camela was able to convince John that Tracy was lying and he finally accepted her and returned to her. In July of 1989, Camela discovered that the phone lines had been cut. John told his mother that Tracy had sneaked in during the night and tried to take him away, but he refused to go. A few weeks later, Camela moved them to another town and enrolled John into a new school.
Everything seemed fine until June 13, 1990, when Tracy abducted John once again. They have now been missing for over two years.
Suspects: Tracy Davis
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the Special Live Broadcast on November 25, 1992.
Results: Solved. On the night of the broadcast, authorities received tips that John and Tracy were living in Florida; however, by the time they arrived at the house, they had vanished. Then, on December 11, 1992, Tracy turned herself in because of the broadcast. The next day, John was finally reunited with his mother.
Tracy later pleaded guilty to kidnapping and was sentenced to a year in prison. After she was released, she was arrested and convicted for stalking John when he was sixteen. John is now living in New Jersey and remains in close contact with his mother. They, along with several other family members, have cut off all contact with Tracy. As of 2015, John is now living in Pennsylvania again and has had contact with Tracy.
- Woman wants her son returned by his grandmother
- This grandmother's wanted
- Bucks boy spends another birthday on list of missing, with grandmother
- On the run
- After 2 years, kidnapped boy reunited with his mother
- After 2 years, kidnapped boy, mother reunited
- Grandmother charged with kidnapping
- Suspect recounts time on run
- Kidnap suspect seeks freedom, requests bail
- Woman accused of abducting grandson released on bail
- Kidnapping suspect released on bail
- SitcomsOnline Discussion of John Harman-Minieka (includes comment from Camela)