In August 1976, student Andy Puglisi disappeared from a swimming pool in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The police had no leads until patrolman Mike Carelli met clairvoyant Andrew Barnhart
Serial offender Wayne Chapman died last month at the age of 73. And he may have taken the last hope of solving the mystery of Andy Puglisi’s disappearance with him to the grave.
The ten-year-old boy from Lawrence, Massachusetts was last seen in a swimming pool on a warm August afternoon in 1976.
Two weeks after Andy’s disappearance, Chapman was arrested in Waterloo, New York.
In his van, the police found Polaroid pictures and films of naked children, a counterfeit police badge and a replica of a pistol, as well as a rope, tape and a blood-stained children’s sock.
Despite being the prime suspect in the Puglisi case, Chapman was never charged because police did not have sufficient evidence.
Four other suspects were briefly considered: the boy’s divorced parents, Faith and Angelo Puglisi, Faith’s ex-boyfriend Jerome Phillips, and a local idle named Gary Thibedeau.
But even if Chapman’s involvement was considered very likely by the police, the trail quickly turned cold.
Strip cop Mike Carelli said in a 1982 documentary about the case, “I’ve always felt with Andy’s family.
“Was Andy dead? Did he suffer? A body was never found. There was never an end. No tombstone where they could come from and put a flower. No funeral. No nothing.”
Even after the case closed, Carelli had continued searching for answers about Andy.
He met the clairvoyant Andrew Barnhart after lecturing at Texas A&M University and asked for his help: “We have a missing person at home,” he said. “Do you see anything?”
Without asking for further details, Barnhart launched a detailed prediction: “The boy is dead,” he said to Carelli, stunned. “The body is still there.”
He told the police officer to look in an area that is “sometimes wet, sometimes not,” such as a river bed that is often dry. He added that the tomb was “three feet deep by three feet up,” though Carelli had no idea at the time what that might mean.
Carelli asked for permission to pursue the Barnhart case further.
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Barnhart later told him that “a middle-aged man with salt and pepper hair, a belly and clenched front teeth” walked over Andy’s grave, which was covered with fallen branches and dead leaves.
He added that he kept thinking of mysterious numbers regarding the boy’s final resting place – M19, M20, M21, and M23.
Carelli went back to the area near the pool. It had been a municipal dump at the time of Andy’s disappearance, but a soccer field had since been built there.
The contractor who built the pitch looked creepy like Barnhart’s description, and the land had been surveyed by a civil engineer who assigned grid numbers M20, M21, and M23 to various parts of the property.
The clairvoyant told Carelli that the boy was not intentionally killed.