Steven and Michael Carroll had no reason to believe so-called ghost hunters when they claimed that their father was interred in the cellar of the house where they had grown up. Sixty years ago, Korean War veteran George Carroll vanished without a trace, and no one seemed to know what had happened to him.
Michael wanted to vomit as he gazed at the deformed skeleton that was lying at the bottom of the six-foot-deep hole in his basement.
The eerie woman had told him it would be there, and it was. Now, everything he had previously believed to be true about his family was a lie.
When Steven and his brother Michael lost their father, they were only five years old. They were never given a straight answer about what had happened to their father and instead were told that he went out one day and never came back. They grew up believing that his father George had abandoned him and his three siblings. The kids had not yet learned their father’s true fate, and this story clashed with tales of his military prowess.
After George vanished from their Long Island home in 1961, his mother forbid them from discussing it. “I was always told, ‘Don’t ask,’” Michael said “So I stopped asking.”
Dorothy, Michael’s mother, used to tell them that George went out to buy cigarettes one day and never came back. But Michael sensed that his mother was lying to her children, in the back of his mind, that there is something else had happened.
Older relatives claimed that George had left the family and moved to South Korea, while others claimed that he had been killed and buried in the cellar of the family home in Lake Grove. However, everyone assumed that the latter claim was just a bad joke.
The five children found it difficult to grow up without a father, and the fact that they didn’t know what had happened to him only made matters worse. Some of the siblings believed that he had left them and didn’t want them, while others believed that he couldn’t possibly have done that and always wondered what the real story was.
After he bought the family home to raise his own children in, Michael couldn’t help but think about what people had been saying about the basement every time he went down for a spare lightbulb. “It’s something that’s been talked about for years,” he said. “We heard multiple stories.”
But since then, Michael’s mother had wed again. Richard Darress, who had moved into the home shortly after George vanished, had lived there for many years, making it unlikely that a body went unnoticed during that time.
The second husband of Dorothy was Richard Darress. Just before George disappeared, they had met while he was doing handyman work on the family house. Darress reportedly relocated to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, after his divorce from Dorothy, where he worked as a long-distance truck driver.
Unable to forget about his father’s puzzling disappearance, Michael organized a trip to Mexico to speak with Darress. Darress, however, unexpectedly passed away the day before Michael was scheduled to depart.
With Michael’s mother also passing on, the trail had gone cold. There was no evidence, no suspects, Dorothy didn’t even report George as missing when it happened, so there was no police report to look at either.
Michael was so disturbed by not knowing what had happened to his father that he employed the services of a group of psychics who came to visit the home a few years ago.
But just when Michael thought his hunt for the truth was over, his son received a very strange phone call that sent chills down his spine.
A paranormal investigator answered the phone and informed Michael’s son that she had experienced a strange vision and was compelled to get in touch with him.
Michael was familiar with con artists like her who preyed on tragedy victims in order to make a quick buck. Michael, however, seized the phone when his son mentioned an “energy” in the basement.
On the advice of a crazy woman, Michael didn’t want to ruin the basement of the home he grew up in. But his insatiable curiosity won out, and he bought a ground-penetrating radar.
Unexpectedly, something was found by the device six feet below the concrete. Michael and his sons had to dig down far enough, which took years. Then, on Halloween Eve, Michael was rendered immobile by what he learned.
“They were twisted in a knot, weird-looking,” Michael said.“It was down and twisted in the dirt… not totally exposed, either.”
Authorities claim that the bones might not have enough DNA in them to make an authoritative match, but Michael feels in his bones that this man is his missing father. “This is almost a perfect crime, but I wasn’t supposed to find him,” Michael said.
Michael thinks his father was murdered by Richard Darress. “This has been a long journey, but it is still shocking to hear this.” Michael also shared his feelings on the case with the media, saying he was happy on the whole to have found his missing father.
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