LIVONIA, Mich. – A man who said he believes he’s D’Wan Sims, a child who went missing from a Livonia mall 25 years ago, has given a DNA sample to police.
D’Wan Sims was reported missing on Dec. 11, 1994 at the Wonderland Mall in Livonia. His mother, Dwanna Harris, told police he disappeared while shopping with her.
D’Wan Sims photo:
Surveillance video revealed that Harris was at the mall, but didn’t show her son. That led investigators to believe he was never at the mall in the first place. The family became the focus of suspicion.
Baby photo of man who thinks he may be D’Wan:
“I was here at the department and we looked at all of the video, we checked everything, and we never saw D’Wan with Ms. Sims,” Livonia police Captain Ron Taig said.
Age-progressed photo of D’Wan:
Police reached out to the mother to obtain DNA for a test and it’s unclear if she will cooperate. Sources tell Local 4 that the man reached out to Harris on Facebook messenger and she blocked him.
Police said they first heard about the man’s theory after he posted his belief about his identity on Facebook. He also shared concerns about what his parents told him about his childhood. He went to the police station a couple days ago.
“I guess what’s odd is that he claimed that he didn’t want any of this information out in the media and from what I understand he has put this out on social media,” Taig said.
Sources told Local 4 that this would be standard procedure in any high-profile case.
“We are going to reach out, obviously, to the family and provide his information, to see if they want to contact him,” said Taig.
Mother speaks during 1994 news conference
The following are quotes from Harris from when she spoke to WDIV in 1994 in the days after her child’s disappearance.
- “The focus is finding D’Wan, he’s 4 years old, he’s alone and he needs to come home to his mother,” Harris said in a news conference which was held after the boy initially went missing.
- “I feel that a lot of the turns that they’re (Livonia police) taking is because of the Susan Smith case and I do understand what the Livonia police have to do and that’s why I have been cooperating with them,” Harris said.
- The Susan Smith Harris refers to is a mother who confessed to drowning her two young sons after originally claiming she’d been carjacked. The case made national news in 1994. Smith was convicted of two counts of murder.
- “The only thing that I want the public to know, is that my only concern is finding my son,” Harris said. “Whoever has my baby, I know he’s safe, and I know you’re taking good care of him ... What I’m hoping is that someone may have ran across my child ... We’ve got your Christmas ready, so, just come home,” Harris said.
Click here to view the poster from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.