FBI Investigator on Hornbeck Case Speaks Out - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Franklin County, MO

FBI Investigator on Hornbeck Case Speaks Out

FBI Investigator on Hornbeck Case Speaks Out
By: CJ Cassidy

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Mo. --The federal investigator heading up the Shawn Hornbeck case is from Cape Girardeau.  Supervisory Special Agent Tom Blades wouldn't comment on whether his team has had a chance to sit down and talk with Shawn, saying they've been asked to stay tight lipped on a lot of the details to make sure the case gets tried before the court and not before then.

However, Blades did touch on some other details, like the reason why Shawn's alleged kidnapper got away with hiding him in plain sight.

Evidence of the teen's access to the outside world becomes clearer everyday, but from the websites bearing Shawn's profile, to accounts from friends and neighbors in Kirkwood, putting the bits and pieces together falls to Blades.

"This is a personal conclusion for me, and it's also very heart warming," Blades says.

Agent Blades first began following the Hornbeck case as a field agent, and now heads up the investigation.

"He did not go to school but he was in an apartment complex with other people seen in the area.I can't answer why the neighbors didn't make the call or make the connection, since 9/11 the public has become more observant, and I think with this investigation coming to the successful end it did, people will become more observant with it as well," Blades told Heartland News in an exclusive interview.

He says the FBI Cyber Squad is investigating whether online profiles of Shawn were in fact created by the teen himself.

"We don't monitor the sites. However when something's brought to our attention we will take a thorough look at it," he explains.

Blades points out no one was looking for the name Devlin to be associated with Shawn; that might explain why neighbors never called police even after noticing similarities between Shawn Hornbeck and Shawn Devlin.

"We all have questions until the case is put to rest," Blades says.

He also says they depend on you to report anything you notice that might be suspicious, whether it's an online profile that looks like that of a missing child or a child in your neighborhood who doesn't attend school. The lesson learned in the Shawn Hornbeck case is simple.

Pick up the phone, and make a call, you never know whose life you might end up saving.

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