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Man with 'amazing childhood' had no idea he was reported as missing for 33 years

Man with 'amazing childhood' had no idea he was reported as missing for 33 years

Curiosity about his past resulted in a discovery of a lifetime for Steve Carter

A man who began to grow curious about his early life was left stunned after spotting himself on a missing children's website.

Most people don’t often have to question their younger years and have enough memories, videos and pictures to know for sure who they are, where they were born and who their parents are.

However, that wasn't the case for Steve Carter, who was adopted from an orphanage in Honolulu, Hawaii, when he was four years old.

Speaking on the What It Was Like podcast, the salesman said: "I had an amazing childhood.

"I was adopted and raised by two individuals who are just phenomenal... They'll always be my parents."

Steve Carter. (CNN)
Steve Carter. (CNN)

However he didn’t know who left him at the orphanage, or why.

But after hearing of a missing person story on the radio about a woman who discovered she was abducted as a child by finding her missing kids' poster in 2011, Carter got curious about his past.

Searching for details about missing children in Hawaii, he eventually found an image of himself as a baby alongside a digitally aged up image of what he could look like now, using images of his mother and father, on

Carter said that he immediately knew that it was him.

He then took steps to get to the bottom of this mystery and contacted the police. Carter completed a DNA test and after months of waiting the police were able to confirm that it was him.

He learned his birth name was Marx Panama Moriarty Barnes, and that his father, Mark Barnes, had reported him missing after his mother, Charlotte Moriarty, went for a walk with him in June 1977, and never returned.

The poster Steve Carter found on the missing children's website. (
The poster Steve Carter found on the missing children's website. (

Charlotte had reportedly gone to a stranger’s home and given a fake name of herself and baby Barnes/Carter, before she went to a psychiatric hospital. Baby Barnes/Carter was then put in protective care.

This ultimately hampered the search efforts for the child and resulted in him being adopted by Steve and Pat Carter, who raised their son in New Jersey three years later.

Carter did eventually reconnect with some of his family, including a half-sister and his father, much to their surprise.

However, he never met his biological father in person, despite exchanging letters and emails.

Speaking about their first phone call, Max Barnes told People in 2012: "All I could say was, 'Wow. Oh, wow. Wow'.

"I always expected a knock at the door or a phone call."

Featured Image Credit: CNN/The Tamron Hall Show

Topics: News, US News