Notorious San Francisco: Kevin Collins

2502 Sutter Street
The story of Kevin Collins is San Francisco's heartbreak. Kevin was last seen on February 10, 1984, waiting for the northbound No. 43 bus at the corner of Oak Street and Masonic Avenue. His disappearance from the City's sidewalks came at a time before Americans had adequately responded to the tragedy of missing and exploited children. There was no Megan's Law, America's Most Wanted, nor the many groups, toll free numbers, web sites, child I.D. kits, and other resources that will help the parents of a child who is abducted today. It may never be known if any of these resources would have found Kevin or prevented his abduction. Kevin was one of nine children from a working class family. His father, David Collins, was a truck driver and nursing student. Kevin was a bright, well-liked 4th grader. On the day of his disappearance, Kevin, of St. Agnes School (755 Ashbury Street), left the school's gym at a separate facility on Page Street between Ashbury and Masonic at or around 6 p.m. Those closest to the boy speculate that he slipped out of the after school basketball practice in order to catch the 43 and avoid piling in the coach's van with bigger, perhaps more intimidating, kids. Students up to the 8th grade were participating in the practice while Kevin's brother Gary, a 6th grader and constant companion of Kevin's, was sick and stayed home that day. Kevin was last seen at 6:30. In the hours and days after he failed to arrive home at 2502 Sutter Street, volunteers circulated 2000 posters in a 200-block radius of St. Agnes. The well publicized photo of Kevin is haunting because his vulnerability is so obvious and the reality of his vanishing so sad. Kevin Collins would be 30 years old at this writing on the 20th anniversary of his disappearance.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

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