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Reuben disappeared from Clinton, Maryland on May 6, 1996. He was abducted by his non-custodial father, Reuben Bennett Blackwell Sr. A photo and vital statistics for Reuben Sr. are posted below this case summary. He and Reuben's mother, Deborah Tinsley Blackwell, were still married at the time of the abduction, but they had been having problems and Deborah stated Reuben Sr. was verbally abusive. In the week prior to the abduction, Reuben Sr. became violent and threw items around the house and at Deborah.
On the morning of May 6, Deborah sent her son to day care and then called the police to ask for assistance. They suggested they get an ex-parte order, which would require Reuben Sr. to leave the home for ten days. After this period was up, he and Deborah would go before a judge to try to work out their dispute. Deborah obtained the order, but asked the sheriff not to serve it until the following day, because it was Reuben Sr.'s turn to pick up Reuben from day care. Reuben Sr. did pick up his son and they went to Deborah's mother's home, and then the sheriff arrived. When the police served Reuben Sr. with the ex-parte order, there was a confrontation and he fled with the boy. This all happened before Deborah had finished work. When she went home that day, her husband and son were gone. Reuben Sr. was driving a blue 1993 Volvo 940 sedan.
Reuben Sr. has threatened to harm his son and himself. After he and the child disappeared, Reuben Sr. sent a letter to his mother describing funeral arrangements for himself and his son. There is a felony warrant out for his arrest on charges of kidnapping, and a federal warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution was issued for him on September 22, 2000. They may be in Ohio. Reuben and Reuben Sr.'s whereabouts are unknown, and caution is advised when approaching them due to the circumstances involved.
Reuben Bennett Blackwell Sr.
Date of Birth: December 6, 1956
Age at disappearance: 39 years old
Weight and Height: 6'4, 260 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: African-American male. Black hair, brown eyes. Reuben Sr.'s hair is graying at the temples.
Medical Conditions: Reuben Sr. suffers from high blood pressure.
Prince George County Police