Invisible Children

Shawn Hornbeck

Content note: Case narratives include descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. They also include photos of victims and perpetrators of violence.

Shawn Hornbeck
11-year-old Shawn Hornbeck was kidnapped on October 6, 2002, while he was out riding his bike. His abductor, Michael Devlin, kept Shawn captive at his home fifty miles away for four years, sexually assaulting the boy and creating pornography of their encounters. Neighbors were led to believe that the two were father and son. When questioned, Shawn said he was being homeschooled. Shawn was discovered on January 12, 2007, at age 15 after Devlin’s truck was identified following a kidnapping of a second boy, 13-year-old Ben Ownby. Shawn was returned to his parents, Pam and Craig Akers, who homeschooled him briefly to help him catch up in school.

Date: January 12, 2007
Location: Kirkwood, Missouri

Documents: Date:
Shawn Hornbeck
Boy tries to reconnect with life after 4 years 2007-01-18
Shawn Hornbeck Getting His Life Back 2007-07-23
Devlin Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges for Photographing, Taking Kidnapped Boy 2007-10-10