Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Laurence Harding Jr.

Real Name: Lawrence Harding Jr.
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Date: June 30, 1944


Occupation: Minor
Date of Birth: 1944
Height: Unrevealed
Weight: Unrevealed
Marital Status: Single
Characteristics: African-American Male, 10 weeks of age at the time of his disappearance.

Geoffrey Harding


Details: On the morning of June 30, 1944, ten-week-old Laurence Harding Jr. went with his mother, Margaret Harding, to a store and encountered two teenage girls who looked at him and said that he was a beautiful baby. She did not recognize them but did not feel worried. As she was walking home from the store, they were apparently following her. When she arrived at their apartment complex, she asked an upstairs neighbor to watch Laurence while she took the groceries inside. The neighbor was on her balcony, but could clearly see Laurence from where she was standing. When she turned away, the teenage girls abducted him. Margaret immediately ran after them, but soon lost sight of them. They had disappeared.
Three days later, Laurence's parents received a call from a woman who claimed that she had him and that she was planning on returning him. The FBI and Chicago police found no trace of him or his kidnappers, and the search was later called off. In 1953, schoolmates taunted Geoffrey Harding about a brother he never knew. When he told Margaret what had happened, she decided to tell him about Laurence's abduction.
Later, Geoffrey began searching for Laurence. However, it would not be until August 1986 that he was able to receive the FBI records of Laurence's abduction by virtue of the Freedom of Information Act and was able to get a new lead. He hired a private investigator who was able to find more information about the lead.
The investigator found that on July 4, 1944, one of the teenage girls arrived at a train station and asked an older woman to hold "her" baby while she went to the restroom. When she did not return, the older woman got on the train. She assumed that the teenage girl had also done so. However, after arriving in St. Louis, Missouri, it was clear to her that the teenage girl was not on board. She told two railroad porters about Laurence. She decided to take him with her to Magnolia, Arkansas. The porters later told FBI agents about the story.
Geoffrey's private investigator went to Magnolia in hopes of finding information about Laurence, but found no new clues. Geoffrey is certain that he is alive and that they will be reunited one day.
Suspects: In 1944, Laurence's kidnappers were described as two African-American teenage girls. Margaret and their neighbor did not recognize them. It is believed that one of them called the Hardings three days after the abduction. It is also suspected that one of them gave Laurence to an older woman from Magnolia, Arkansas. They have never been identified.
The older woman has also never been identified; however, she is not believed to have been involved in the abduction. She is believed to have lived in Magnolia in 1944. At the time, she had nine children.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the March 28, 1990 episode. There are no actual photographs of Laurence available; above is one of the reenactment actor.
Results: Unsolved. If he is still alive, Laurence would be seventy-five-years-old.