- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 16, 2002

The mother of a Brentwood, Md., boy missing since 1993 says she feels confident Prince George's County police detectives are close to solving her son's disappearance.
"We've been through ups and downs over the years, but I know it's going to be coming to an end," Barbara Burdynski said yesterday.
George Stanley Burdynski, who was known as "Junior," was 10 at the time of his disappearance. He was last seen in May 1993 pedaling his red bicycle near his parents' white clapboard house along the 4300 block of 40th Place.
Detectives informed the Burdynskis "a couple days ago" that they had developed a new theory in the case one that said the boy was killed shortly after his abduction.
Mrs. Burdynski wouldn't discuss the new information detectives had shared with her, but as she stood on a concrete walkway outside her house yesterday, she seemed resigned to detectives' conclusions.
"It's been very hard," she said. "I'm just glad in the way that I'm going to have an ending to the case. It's sad also that he's not going to be here."
Mrs. Burdynski, 40, said she frequently contacted the police about the case over the years, but this time it was police who approached her with the new theory.
Prince George's County Police Detective Mike Butler has been part of an investigation into the case since the boy's disappearance.
Though he declined to discuss specific details of the police department's new findings including the identity of a suspect Detective Butler said he had been in the field, questioning people, revisiting old information and reinterviewing people.
During the year after Junior's disappearance, police uncovered a child molestation and pornography ring operating in the boy's neighborhood. The investigation led to the discoveries, arrests and convictions of three area child molesters.
Detective Butler said several of those reinterviewed were Junior's friends, some of whom were victims of the child molesters. "Some of the children who lived on the block when he disappeared are now adults," he said.
Police also have reinterviewed one of the convicted molesters. James E. Kowalski, 54 at the time, once was thought to be the prime suspect in Junior's disappearance but never was charged in the case. He is serving more than 200 years in prison on child sexual abuse and child pornography charges.
Bruce Leak, a friend of Kowalski's, also was convicted in 1993 of molesting Junior's friends and for his involvement in the child pornography ring.
Another suspect, Joseph Lynch, who was 29 at the time, was convicted in October 1994 of two second-degree sexual offenses for having oral and anal sex with a 13-year-old boy who was a friend and neighbor of Junior's.
At the time of Lynch's trial, Mrs. Burdynski said Junior had been to Lynch's home in the 3200 block of Varnum Street with his friends.
Detective Butler said the new information has surfaced from those being reinterviewed, although it is not specifically linked to any of the convicted molesters.
Mrs. Burdynski said yesterday the experience of losing a child has been painful for her and her family; Junior would have turned 20 this year.
"You just feel like you're lost, like you're in limbo," she said. "There are times you think, 'What are they doing to him? Are they torturing him? Are they hurting him?'"
Detective Butler said he also had been deeply affected by the case.
"In this business, there are certain cases that sticks in your craw," he said. "For me, this has been one of those cases. Not a day goes by when I don't think about it. Hopefully, we will finally be able to bring some closure to this case for us and for the boy's family."


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