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Mother of Missing Paperboy Says She Knows Who Abductors Are; Police Silent

September 16, 1986 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ The mother of missing paperboy Johnny Gosch said Tuesday that both she and police know who abducted her son four years ago and that police are ″doing everything within their legal boundaries″ to arrest them.

Noreen Gosch said she has known the identities of three Des Moines men and a pedophile ″contact″ in Houston for six months, and that her knowledge has caused numerous threats against members of her family.

She declined to identify the men. Lt. Lyle McKinney of the West Des Moines police, who has worked on the Gosch disappearance, said he was aware of Mrs. Gosch’s statements but would have no comment.


″The Johnny Gosch disappearance case is an active investigation,″ he said. ″We will act on any information furnished to us.″ He would not say if police know the identities of the abductors.

Mrs. Gosch had vague answers to several questions, saying her news release had ″hidden messages″ that the abductors would understand. She said there was a risk that the kidnappers would try to flee but ″that would be revealing, too, wouldn’t it?″

Gosch disappeared while preparing to deliver Sunday newspapers near his West Des Moines home Sept. 5, 1982.

″We now have evidence providing the identity (of the abductors),″ Mrs. Gosch said. ″The crime was organized. We know who these people are and where they are located. We have received very serious threats to members of the family concerning this aspect of the investigation. It is in our best interest to bring this information out to the public.″

She said that the abductors know she knows who they are but may not know that she has also told police.

The family, she said, has cancelled its offer of a $200,000 reward for information leading to Johnny’s whereabouts. Rewards from other sources still are available, she said.

Mrs. Gosch has been strongly critical of police efforts to find her son in the past, but she said police are now cooperating. ″Police have been apprised of every development,″ she said.

She wouldn’t say what is being done to apprehend the men, however. ″At this time, they are doing everything within their legal boundaries. We know who they are. I can’t comment on what’s happening legally.

″There’s a lot I can’t tell you,″ she said.