Police say they have given up hope of finding child alive

Wednesday, August 6, 2003

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis police said they have given up hope of finding alive a severely disabled child who disappeared two months ago, although they are still actively involved in the case.

Christian Ferguson disappeared under strange circumstances nearly eight weeks ago, and attempts to locate the 9-year-old have turned up nothing.

"We've found no evidence to indicate that he's alive," said Capt. Harry Hegger, commander of the crimes against persons division.

Police have been skeptical of an account provided by the boy's father, Dawan Ferguson, 30, a bounty hunter. He told police that his sport utility vehicle -- with Christian inside it -- was stolen off a lot in St. Louis about 6 a.m. June 11, after he stopped and got out to use a pay phone.

The vehicle was recovered in the nearby suburb of Ferguson about 8 a.m. that day with no sign of the boy.

One resident who lives near where the vehicle was found said it had been there at least since shortly after 6 a.m. that day. Christian suffers from a rare disorder that inhibits his body's processing of protein. He is unable to communicate, manage his personal needs or move far on his own power. Medical experts said he would not survive much more than a day without his medication.

Within hours of his report, police said, his father refused to take a lie detector test, obtained a lawyer and refused further interviews with police.

Detectives said they believe the SUV was never on the parking lot. They have been investigating a TV news tape taken of the lot that morning, showing a parked car that belongs to a close friend of Dawan Ferguson who lives blocks away from where the SUV was recovered.

John Roger, the lawyer for Dawan Ferguson, said Monday that he had no comment.

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