Above: Taj Narbonne in 1981 (left) and an age-progressed image to 40, circa 2011 (right)
Last seen in Leominster, Massachusetts on March 31, 1981
Vital statistics: White male. Born on June 18, 1971. Blond hair, blue eyes. His teeth are decayed. Last seen wearing a yellow jacket with blue sleeves and a yellow sweatshirt with a picture of Donald Duck on it, and possibly no shoes. Was nine at the time.
Circumstances: Accounts differ to where Taj Narbonne was last seen. Some say he left his house after a verbal argument with his stepfather, while others say he was found missing from bed. According to both accounts, he left a note saying he no longer wished to live with his family. His stepfather reportedly hated him, possibly because he was black and Taj was blond and blue-eyed. Taj was afraid of him and had mostly lived with relatives since his mother had married him when Taj was seven. Police at first thought he had run away, as he had told friends he was intending to do so, but he has never been located. His disappearance started to be investigated a week after he vanished. Classified as a Non-Family Abduction.
Theories: This case is difficult because no two accounts tell the same story. The one thing all accounts agree on is the note he left. With an older child, this would be a much simpler case because there are all the signs of a runaway child. However, Taj was only nine at the time. If he stayed away from home for any length of time, someone would surely notice him. And why would a child afraid of the dark run off? A darker theory says that he was murdered by his stepfather, who reportedly despised the boy (and Taj had apparently told friends he was being abused by him). However, his mother appears to have a great deal of love for him, and she would have surely reported if her husband was gone for any length of time and began acting suspiciously. That leaves one large possibility open - abduction. The lack of leads is frustrating, because someone had to see the boy in the hours he was missing. That person may be the key to solving the case.
If you have any information on Narbonne's wherebouts, please e-mail For The Lost at this address. Or you may contact the Leominster Police Department at 978-537-0741. Any tips sent by e-mail will be kept confidential.
Information used to compile this case file came from the following locations:
The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
The Charley Project
The Doe Network
The Boston Globe
The Leominster Champion
The Sentinel and Enterprise
NamUs National Missing Persons Data System
Back to the case files