Police Thought They'd Returned A Missing Teen To His Texas Home, But Not Everything Added Up

It was a nightmarish scenario: in 1994 a 13-year-old kid from Texas named Nicholas Barclay went missing. Days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months, and months turned to years, yet no news about this boy ever emerged; it was a tragedy. But then, three full years after his disappearance came an unexpected development: Nicholas, it seemed, had shown up! He’d been found in Spain, looking a few years older, but basically in good shape. What great news! Except, well, this story isn’t so simple. It would take some time, but a private investigator would eventually make a discovery about this boy that was absolutely chilling.

A regular kid

If you looked at him back in the summer of ’94, nothing would have especially stood out about Nicholas. He was, so far as anyone could see from a glance, a normal kid.

A small frame, white skin, blue eyes, brown hair that could almost look blond at times: he really was just a regular 13-year-old. He stood at around 4’8” and is reported to have weighed something like 80 pounds. At some point in his young life, it had been discovered that he suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Covered in letters

The fateful day he disappeared, Nicholas had been dressed in a white T-shirt and purple pants. He was wearing black footwear, and he also had a pink bag on his back. That was all pretty normal, but that’s not to say he didn’t have any distinguishing marks that might have proven useful in the search for him.

He was actually sporting a few self-inked tattoos: a series of letters. If you looked closely, you’d see that a “J” had been drawn on the shoulder on his left side, there was a “T” on his left hand, and “LN” had been emblazoned on his left ankle.

Street smarts

Nicholas hadn’t always managed to steer clear of trouble growing up. He’d even been known to run away from home, and according to his own sister he definitely possessed street smarts. He’d been living with his mom and his big brother Jason when he went missing.

In fact, he’d actually phoned Jason to ask for a ride back home after a basketball game had ended. Jason had told his little brother to walk back: that was the last anyone had ever heard of him.

Didn’t make it home

Nicholas never made it home after he’d got off the phone with his brother. The cops were informed, and the worst was feared: it seemed likely this boy had been abducted by someone and killed.

The problem was, there was no evidence one way or the other. It was all speculation, and without a body, nobody could say for sure what had happened to him. An extensive search of the local area by the authorities was eventually shut down after it bore no fruit.