WARNING: The details of this story are graphic and may be disturbing to some readers
Two days after speaking publicly for the first time, a former prostitute revealed new details to police about a person of interest in the disappearance of an 11-year-old boy 24 years ago.
"You've been looking for me," Daniel Coll told Middle Township Police. "I'm here."
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 Tuesday 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 of him sexually assaulting a boy that he's positive was Himebaugh.
“A little boy who was shackled, handcuffed and had a ball gag in his mouth,” Coll said. “I remember looking at the little boy’s face and just the look on his eyes. 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 watched 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.’ He kept reassuring me, ‘I need you. I need you to help me get little kids.’”
Coll said he contacted police the next day and told them about what Butcavage allegedly showed him. Coll’s tip led to a police search through Butcavage’s apartment in 1993, 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.
On Thursday Coll spoke with Middle Township Police, who have renewed their efforts to solve the Himebaugh case. Middle Township Police Chief Christopher Leusner said the new information from Coll is extremely valuable in their investigation.
"We might conduct additional interviews," Chief Leusner said. "We might visit businesses in the area. I'm very happy that he came down. We've been trying to get in touch with him. It's a little challenging. Thanks to your coverage we were able to make contact with him."
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. Prior to speaking with police Thursday, he also told us something he's never shared with investigators. Coll claims Butcavage once told him during a prior encounter that he had stayed at a camp ground in Middle Township located less than two miles from Himebaugh's neighborhood.
Police are hoping to talk with more people who may have seen Butcavage in Cape May County in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.
Anyone with information in the case can call Middle Township Police at 609-465-8700 or the NCMEC hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST.