Snatched from a Sandbox – Douglas Charles Chapman

A young boy plays in the sand pile out in front of his home in rural Maine. Dad was at work and Mom was inside finishing up a quick phone call. It was only a few moments, but when the poor woman went outside to check on her child, he was nowhere to be found.

June 2, 1971, Douglas Charles Chapman was playing a few yards from his front door when he was snatched. Rural Alfred, Maine was considered a safe place to raise a family, and to this day the list of Missing Persons can be counted on your fingers. So, what happened to the three-year-old?Police initially thought the boy had wandered off into the wooded areas surrounding his home. Nearly the entire town turned out to look for little “Dougie.” Helicopters and tracking dogs were employed in the search. The dogs quickly picked up Dougie’s scent but lost it at the edge of the road. Police then began to suspect the boy had been kidnapped and carried away by a vehicle.Lt. Brian McDonough used lie detector tests and interviews to eliminate the family members as suspects, but the case grew cold. Back before the days of Amber alerts, internet, and social media the police had very little to go on. Many years later it was discovered that a sex offender lived close to the family, but he had since died. The man’s name was never released publicly. Was he a pedophile that targeted the little boy, or was he a victim of human trafficking?Decades later a man has come forward claiming he may be the lost child. The man’s name is Eric Waite. The details of his past are unusual and cloudy. A Reddit thread was created concerning this man’s journey. A DNA sample has been requested to clear the matter up, but strangely the mother of Douglas Chapman has refused. Her reasons are unclear. Maybe she doesn’t believe Mr. Waite, or maybe there’s another reason. I guess time will tell. We’ve all heard about those conmen who try to take advantage of the victim’s family. Let’s hope Mr. Waite is the long lost son and not a twisted conman.


New information has come in since this post was written. Mr. Waite is not the boy. The mother had already done a DNA test with law enforcement and it did not match. Mr. Waite claimed it was a scam and wanted her to take another test. This further testing is what the mother has refused.

It appears Mr. Waite is still fighting this and it has gone on for years. Please keep this poor family in your thoughts. They have suffered enough pain without the added cruelty of this disturbed individual.

Please share this story so we can find the REAL Douglas Chapman.

In the meantime, if you have any information about this 48-year-old cold case, please contact the Maine State Police Department at (800) 228-0857.

The following links are for the benefit of Synova’s readers and are not an all inclusive source listing.Further Reading:Charley ProjectNamUsNews Center Maine

All information used to create this content is a matter of public record and can be easily found online. Any participation or alleged involvement of any party mentioned within this site is purely speculation. As the law states, an individual is Innocent until PROVEN guilty. ©2017-2019. All rights reserved.

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Each week Synova highlights obscure cold cases on her blog as a victim’s advocate with the Missouri Missing organization. She never charges for her services. If you’d like to help support Synova in this worthy cause, please check out the affiliate links below and on the sidebar of this page. By purchasing one of her books or using these links, you will be supporting Synova’s work on cold cases and will ensure her ability to continue to give a voice to the victim’s family. Thank you.

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