On June 13, 1994, 13-year-old Nicholas Barclay called his mother to pick him up after he was done playing basketball with his friends.
Because she was asleep, Nicholas’ mom had no idea he’d even called. It was the last time he was ever heard from again.
It took three years before there was finally a break in the case, and in October of 1997, investigators received a mysterious phone call from a man in Linares, Spain, saying that Nicholas was living at the Spanish shelter.
The mystery caller claimed that Nicholas had escaped from a Spanish sex ring after being abused for several years.
Nicholas’ parents were beyond relieved—that is, until they met their son.
After Nicholas’ sister flew to Spain and brought the teen home to their parents, it was clear that the boy had dramatically changed in just a few years.
Aside from Nicholas’ newfound dark hair and eyes, friends and family couldn’t help but notice that he also spoke with a distinct French accent.
Although Nicholas tried to tell police that his abductors had chemically altered his hair and eyes, and forced him to speak with a French accent, investigators could no longer ignore the obvious problems with his story.
Finally, Nicholas had to be forced to give up his fingerprints and a DNA sample, which revealed the shocking truth.
“Nicholas” was actually a 23-year-old Frenchman named Frederic Pierre Bourdin, who had been trying to con people for several years.
Today, Nicholas’ case remains unsolved, but police officially suspect that foul play was involved in his disappearance.