The Disappearance of Scott Andreas Sims

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EARLY LIFE:

Scott Andreas Sims was born on July 1, 1950 to parents Donald and Ellen Douglass. He was the couple’s second child, with Ellen having given birth to Donald Jr. a year earlier.

While the two boys were young, the pair divorced and eventually married other people. Ellen married William Sims, who was a member of the National Guard and an English professor at Midwestern University. He accepted Donald Jr. and Scott into his life, and grew especially close to the younger boy.

At the time of Scott’s disappearance, the family had just moved to Wichita Falls, Texas. They lived in a corner house in the 4600 block of Stanford Avenue, and the boys appeared to be settling in well. Scott was in fifth grade at Jefferson Elementary School and a Tenderfoot in the Boy Scouts. He was well-liked by those who knew him, and he wasn’t one with a penchant for trouble.

LEAD UP TO DISAPPEARANCE:

Donald Jr. and Scott were home alone on the afternoon of December 9, 1961. William had been called up to go to Fort Polk in Louisiana with the 49th Armored Division, while Ellen was at her job as a nurse.

Sometime between 12:00pm and 12:30pm, she called home and spoke with Donald Jr. 15 minutes later, at 12:45pm, Scott went outside to play, despite the chilly weather conditions.

DISAPPERANCE:

Ellen returned home at 2:30pm to find Scott wasn’t there. She sent Donald Jr. out to look for him and recruited other family members in the search.

The police were called when 8:00pm rolled around and Scott still hadn’t returned home.

SEARCH:

Members from Civil Defense, Fort Sill, the Marine Reserves and the Sheriff’s Mounted Patrol worked alongside volunteers to comb the surrounding area. They also looked through Scott’s usual hangouts and places a child might hide to escape the cold.

A person called investigators and reported seeing a child matching Scott’s description at the Boy Scout Hut near Lake Wichita at around 3:00pm on December 9th. There were also others, including his Cubmaster, Bill Fortune, who reported they’d assumed a relative had picked him up that day.

Potential sightings were called in from Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas, all of which were followed up on. The police department connected with agencies both in the area and across state lines, including the FBI and the Texas Department of Public Safety, but were unable to locate him.

Lake Wichita was searched several times via ground and air, but nothing was ever uncovered. The results were the same when it was dragged. This led searchers to expand their search area to include the caves near Fairway Boulevard, a cemetery near his family’s home, and grounds frequented by the Boy Scouts.

Investigators spoke with those who in those days were known for having “a liking for children” and visited the local prison to follow up on information gained from these conversations.

Scott’s DNA has been compared to numerous John Does over the years, but has failed to yield a positive match to any of the unidentified remains.

At present, very little evidence has been uncovered regarding Scott’s fate. While he’s currently listed as a missing person, it’s believed he was likely the victim of a homicide. According to investigators, the case is still open, with documents from the initial police investigation adding up to a stack a couple of inches thick.

AFTERMATH:

Despite moving to California with his second wife, Donald Sr. kept in constant contact with investigators. He died in 2001, after which his son from his second marriage, Steve, became aware of the case.

According to Steve, his father had never spoken about Scott or his disappearance, and had only ever talked about Donald Jr. Upon learning about the case, he started his own investigation, which involved speaking with the Times Record News, a Wichita Falls newspaper, and travelling to the area in 2008.

CASE CONTACT INFORMATION:

Scott “Andy” Andreas Sims went missing from the 4600 block of Stanford Avenue in Wichita Falls, Wichita County, Texas on December 9, 1961. He was 11 years old, and was last seen wearing a blue turtleneck sweater, blue jeans, a black winter coat and a black knitted cap. At the time of his disappearance, he stood at 4’11” and weighed 90 pounds. He had strawberry blond hair and blue eyes, and was known to wear glasses.

Currently, the case is classified as endangered missing, with foul play suspected. If alive, he would be 71 years old.

Those with information regarding the case are asked to contact the Wichita Falls Police Department at 940-761-7762 or Crime Stoppers at 940-322-9888.

Image Credit: The Charley Project

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