WARNING: The details of this story are graphic and may be disturbing to some readers
As officials continue the search for a New Jersey resident who disappeared 24 years ago, a former prostitute is speaking out for the first time about a disturbing video he claims a person of interest in the case showed him.
“People need to know what I seen that night,” said Daniel Coll.
Coll is a former prostitute who claims Thomas Butcavage Jr. was a frequent client of his. Butcavage, a convicted sex offender, is one of several persons of interest in the disappearance of 11-year-old Mark Himebaugh in 1991. Some people who knew Butcavage believe there’s a strong resemblance between him and the sketch of a man spotted talking with Himebaugh shortly before he vanished near his Middle Township, New Jersey home.
Coll told NBC10 he was with Butcavage the night of Feb. 14, 1993 inside his Haverford Township apartment. That’s when he said Butcavage showed him a graphic video that left him traumatized to this day.
“A little boy who was shackled, handcuffed and had a ball gag in his mouth,” Coll said.
Coll told NBC10 Butcavage sexually assaulted the boy in the video and he’s positive that boy was Himebaugh.
“I remember looking at the little boy’s face and just the look on his eyes,” Coll said. “I mean completely, you ever see fear? Just through the eyes. Man, the little boy was scared to death.”
Coll then recalled the disturbing conversation he had with Butcavage as he saw the video.
“I said, ‘that looks like the little boy from South Jersey,’” Coll said. “Tommy told me it was him. He confessed to me and said it was him. I said, ‘What did you do with him?’ He said, ‘Well, I did like I did the rest of them. I dispose them.’ ‘What do you mean the rest of them?’ He said, ‘Well, I got five or six other kids I did.’”
Coll says he contacted police the next day and told them about what Butcavage allegedly showed him.
“He kept reassuring me, ‘I need you. I need you to help me get little kids,’” Coll said.
Coll’s tip led to a police search through Butcavage’s apartment, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Butcavage denied any involvement in Himebaugh’s disappearance however and he was never charged in relation to the case. Six years later he pleaded guilty to numerous sex crime charges involving young boys in Chester County. He remains in prison.
During a renewed push in June to solve the Himebaugh case, investigators confirmed Butcavage is one of several persons of interest in the disappearance. Coll, who is terminally ill, told NBC10 he decided to speak publicly about Butcavage for the first time after seeing our recent reports on the case.
“I’ve been in the grand juries,” Coll said. “I testified up in Camden for the feds. They need more people to come forward on this because he’s there. People seen him there. I just need people to know the truth of Tommy Butcavage, you know?”
Police are hoping to talk with people who may have seen Butcavage in Cape May County in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Detectives also hope to speak with Coll again as the investigation continues.
Anyone with information in the case can call Middle Township Police at 609-465-8700 or the NCMEC hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST.