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Bucky's parents, Josephine Kephart and Barry James Kephart Sr., claimed their son had disappeared from their hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 22, 1981. He reportedly left apartment in the 300 block of Texas Street southeast after leaving a note saying he was going out and would be back soon. He has never been heard from again. His family did not report him missing for two days.
Investigators believe Bucky was murdered by his parents. His sister, Beverly, who was twelve years old in 1981, stated that due to his dyslexia, Bucky could not have written a note as his parents said he did. She remembers hearing her brother being severely beaten by their father the night he disappeared. Beverly didn't share this information with he police for thirteen years. She stated her parents abused all their children in 1981 and Barry Sr. was an alcoholic. Authorities believe Bucky died as a result of the beating his sister overheard, and his body was put in a dumpster near the family's apartment. They do not believe it will ever be found.
Josephine died in 2005; Barry Sr. lives in Farmington, New Mexico and maintains his innocence in his son's disappearance. It is unlikely that anyone can be charged in Bucky's disappearance, as the statute of limitations has run out. Foul play is suspected in his case due to the circumstances involved.