It Took 34 Years

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Marx Barnes was found 34 years later

National Center For Missing & Exploited Children

Dear Friend,

Just imagine … you’re scrolling through the posters of missing children on our website,, and then suddenly, you recognize one of the faces staring back at you.

You are shocked to find an age progressed image that looks like YOU.

If you never knew you were a missing child, imagine how you would feel!

That’s exactly what happened to Steve Carter.

And his story shows us why you can change lives by supporting NCMEC.

You see, Steve was born Marx Barnes. But when he was just a few months old, Steve and his mother went missing. Steve ended up in an orphanage, but under a different name and his true identity was never known. He was adopted and raised by two loving parents and spent the next 34 years unaware that he was ever reported as a missing child.

But here’s the most amazing part.

Our forensic artists used a photo of Steve at 3-months-old and photos of each of his parents at 20 years old to create an age-progressed image of what Steve would look like as an adult.

Their rendering was so accurate that Steve says when he saw it, “It took my breath away.”

Time and again, NCMEC’s age-progressed images have increased publicity relating to missing child cases, including long-term missing cases like Steve’s.

Steve is now reconnecting with his birth father and sister and told us that he feels, “really blessed that you’ve done the work you’ve done.”

As Steve knows firsthand, your support is such an essential part of each successful reunion. And with so many families still searching for their child, I urge you to make a very special donation today.

Thank you.

Very sincerely,

Robert Lowery, Jr.
Vice President, Missing Children Division

P.S. The longer a child is missing the more their appearance changes. That’s why age progressed images can help raise awareness in our search for missing children. Please help support our efforts to help find missing children by making a contribution right now.