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Thomas Dean Gibson: What Happened To 2-Year-Old?

Thomas was last noticed playing in the front yard of his family’s home in rural Azalea, Oregon at nearly 11:30 a.m. on March 18, 1991. He has never been noticed again.

Thomas’s dad, Larry Gibson, then the Douglas County Deputy Sheriff, notified authorities he took a jog around the family’s estate in Azalea during the late morning hours of his son’s disappearance. Larry held a handgun with him to shoot stray cats, many of which had been staying on the property. Larry contended he shot at a cat near the region where Thomas was playing but missed the animal. He then began on his jog and learned his son was missing after coming back to the home nearly 45 minutes later. A picture of Larry is posted below this case summary.

Clues Of Thomas


The family summoned law enforcement later in the day to scour the property. Larry was told not to report to work at the sheriff’s office, but outfitted in his uniform and left the property for nearly 25 minutes during the inquiry. He stated that his four-year-old daughter glimpsed an anonymous couple pull into their driveway and kidnap Thomas. Larry told me he was checking a regional rest region for signs of Thomas and the couple. While members of the community surveyed for Thomas, Larry sat at the house; at one point he told the searchers to give up and go home because it was snowing.

Was Thomas Killed?

Authorities thought that Larry shot at a stray cat and murdered the animal, as a deceased cat was found on the Gibsons’ property near Thomas’s final known locale. Investigators thought that the bullet traveled through the cat and struck Thomas as he played, murdering him. They inferred that Larry saw Thomas’s corpse after returning from his jog and buried the kid to hide the crime. Larry refuted this scenario and maintained his innocence throughout the inquiry. He resigned from the sheriff’s office and shifted to his native Montana after his son’s disappearance. He and his wife separated in 1994, and she took their three other kids and shifted back to Oregon.

Larry’s estranged wife and his daughter later altered their stories to authorities and told that his daughter noticed her dad hitting Thomas. Larry then put the kid’s corpse in a black plastic trash bag, put the bag in the back of his patrol car, and drove away. He was accused of killing in Thomas’s case in 1994.

Prosecutors contended that Larry had a past of abusing his kids and was under anxiety at the time of Thomas’s disappearance. As he had to look after the kids while his wife was taking college classes. They assumed that if he did not accidentally shoot his son. Larry lost his temper and whip the child to death. Larry was eventually sentenced to second-degree manslaughter in 1995, although he proceeds to refute any involvement. He was released from jail in 1996. And has since published a website requesting data on the whereabouts of his son.

Thomas has never been found. His case stays classified as a non-family kidnapping.

Some points of discussion:

What occurred to Thomas that day?
Was he kidnapped by an outsider?. Or was he accidentally shot by his father trying to get rid of stray cats?
And seriously, what the hell sort of jerk just casually confesses to killing stray cats for no justification? And even goes so far as to bring a gun with them on a jog, just in case the chance pops up?

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