A renewed push to find a New Jersey resident who disappeared 24 years ago has led to another look at a person of interest in the case.
Police are investigating whether Thomas Butcavage Jr. was involved in the disappearance of 11-year-old Mark Himebaugh in 1991. They also want to hear from anyone who may have seen Butcavage in Cape May County, New Jersey in the late 80’s or early 90’s.
“Investigators have focused on any connections to Cape May County in the past and that continues to be our focus with this new effort,” said Middle Township Police Chief Christopher Leusner.
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Butcavage, a convicted sex offender, is one of several persons of interest in Himebaugh’s disappearance in November of 1991 near his Middle Township home. 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.
“Mr. Butcavage’s name has been out in the media previously so that’s why we feel comfortable responding to any inquiries about him,” Chief Leusner said.
A 1993 report from the Philadelphia Inquirer detailed how Butcavage’s Haverford Township home was searched after a tip from a male prostitute linked him to the Himebaugh case. Butcavage’s lawyer said his client denied having any involvement however. NBC10 obtained court records showing Butcavage pleaded guilty to numerous sex crimes involving underage boys in Chester County six years later. He remains in prison.
“The connection to Cape May County is something that’s been lacking in our efforts related to Mr. Butcavage and that’s why we would ask anyone with any knowledge to contact us,” Chief Leusner said.
Since launching a partnership last month with the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children in the search for Himebaugh, local authorities say they’ve received dozens of tips by phone and at a command post near the spot where he was last seen.
Anyone with information in the case can call Middle Township Police at 609-465-8700 or the NCMEC hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST.