Adrien McNaughton Went Missing While He Was Surrounded By Family, But He's Never Been Found

Cases of people who seemingly disappear into thin air are often the biggest mysteries that police and investigators face. When there are no clues as to what happened to a missing person, it can be impossible to know whether they voluntarily left their old life behind or more nefarious forces were at play. These cases are even more tragic when young children are involved.

Adrien McNaughton was just 5 years old when he went missing at Holmes Lake in Ontario, Canada, on June 12, 1972. He left behind little trace of his whereabouts, and the huge search party that looked for him over the following weeks found nothing. The next 40 years produced little progress in the case, but speculation abounds regarding what exactly happened to the young boy on that fateful summer day.


  • Adrien McNaughton Disappeared While On A Family Fishing Trip

    Adrien McNaughton Disappeared While On A Family Fishing Trip
    Video: YouTube

    On June 12, 1972, 5-year-old Adrien McNaughton disappeared while on a fishing trip with his family at Holmes Lake near Calabogie, Ontario. After fishing for about an hour, the young boy apparently gave up, either because he was tired or his line had tangled.

    While other family members fished, Adrien explored around the lake and eventually headed into a nearby wooded area. At this point, Adrien's father, Murray McNaughton, and Adrien's three siblings lost sight of him. About half an hour later, they realized Adrien was nowhere to be found and began searching for him.

  • His Family Didn't Contact The Police For Several Hours

    After discovering Adrien was missing, his family conducted their own search without immediately contacting police. Adrien's father and brothers initially searched the area for him, hoping he was playing somewhere nearby. When Murray McNaughton realized he hadn't seen his son for 30 minutes, he asked his oldest son, Lee, to check whether Adrien had returned to the family's parked car.

    This took another quarter of an hour before they concluded Adrien was not there, and a member of the group went to a nearby motel to contact the Ontario Provincial Police.

  • Relatively Few People Were Around At The Time Of His Disappearance

    The McNaughton's began fishing around 5 pm and didn't realize that Adrien was missing until roughly 6:30 pm, meaning there weren't many people around to help with the search. Besides Adrien's father and brothers, family friend Donnie Ring was the only person there to help with the initial search.

    The only other people known to be in the area were a man named John Gervais and his two friends, who parked at Holmes Lake earlier in the day to fish at nearby lakes. They claimed to have seen a black-and-white 1956 Dodge with several adults and children camping at the lake earlier in the day, but these people have never been identified.

  • One Theory Purports That Adrien Was Abducted

    With the lack of clues in Adrien's disappearance, many believe a passerby may have abducted him. His mother has consistently said she hopes he was adopted by a family who perhaps could not have their own children and may have taken the boy if they saw him wandering around the lake by himself.

    The lack of any physical evidence in the woods and around the lake supports the abduction theory. Proponents argue that if Adrien had gotten lost or injured, the considerable number of people in the search party would have found him. The mysterious black-and-white 1956 Dodge also led to speculation about its potential involvement in the disappearance.