That Awkward Moment When The Cops Show Up To…

Yesterday’s SFgate had an article about a cold-case search for a boy that disappeared from the Haight Ashbury neighborhood in 1984. The story itself, about the disappearance of Kevin Collins, a 10 year old boy, is heartbreaking to read, particularly from the perspective of a parent. I don’t want to minimize that aspect of it in anyway…

Kevin Collin, undated photo. Source: SFGate
Kevin Collin, undated photo. Source: SFGate

I bring the story up, though, because yesterday police jack-hammered the concrete garage floor in a home at 1106 – 1108 Masonic Ave. in a search for his remains. Apparently there was once an individual who lived at that address that was a person of interest in his disappearance. That person was never charged with a crime and is long since gone. The current building occupants are in no way associated with the case or suspected of involvement.

California law requires sellers to disclose any material fact about a home to potential buyers, and when it comes to deaths or murders, any crime that was “notorious” is pretty much a permanent property disclosure. But this particular property doesn’t fall neatly into that category. The building was never identified as the site of a crime scene, and until this week no one had taken the house apart in a search for remains.

How would it feel to wake up one morning and have the police knocking at your door with a search warrant to jack-hammer out your garage floor to search for the remains of a 10 year old boy that has been missing since 1984? I have to say I think it would feel absolutely bizarre, but I also don’t see how you can blame anyone for not telling you that along time ago a strange person lived in the building… If “a long time ago an odd individual lived here” was to become a disclosure item, there probably isn’t a house in SF that wouldn’t have that box checked “Yes!”

All of that said, it is a heartbreaking story and while I have sympathy for the current building owners and building occupants, my heart truly goes out to the family of Kevin.

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