Jaliek L. Rainwalker

1 2 3 4
5 6 7 6
9 10 AP
Top Two Rows and Bottom Left and Center: Jaliek, circa 2007;
Bottom Right: Age-progression to age 14 (circa 2009)

Bar

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: November 1, 2007 from Greenwich, New York
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: August 2, 1995
  • Age: 12 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'6, 105 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Biracial (African-American/Caucasian) male. Brown hair, green eyes. Jaliek has a slight speech impediment which causes him to pronounce the letter "r" like a "w." His name is pronounced "Ja-leek" and his nickname is Jay. At the time of his disappearance, Jaliek's hair had blond highlights and was styled in a two-inch afro.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A bright yellow fleece pullover, a gray t-shirt with the image of a dragon on the front, blue jeans and black canvas high-top sneakers.
  • Medical Conditions: Jaliek suffers from severe emotional problems and has violent outbursts as a result. He was exposed to alcohol and cocaine in utero, and has been diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder, which makes it hard for him to form relationships.
  • Bar

    Details of Disappearance

    Jaliek was last seen at a home belonging to his adoptive father's parents in the 10 block of Hill Street in Greenwich, New York on November 1, 2007. His adoptive father, Stephen Burrell Kerr, spent the night alone in the house with him. Jaliek disappeared during the night and has never been heard from again. Kerr says he woke up the next morning and, at 7:30 a.m., found a note Jaliek left behind. It read: "Dear everybody, I'm sorry for everything. I won't be a bother anymore. Goodbye, Jaliek." Kerr reported his son missing at 8:57 a.m. He is not believed to have been carrying any cash or credit cards when he went missing.

    Jaliek had been living with his adoptive parents, Kerr and his wife Jocelyn A. McDonald, for five years by 2007. He was born addicted to crack cocaine and spent his early childhood in six different foster homes. His parents stated Jaliek had violent temper tantrums and his four siblings were afraid of him. Jaliek's former foster parents, Jodi and Larry Schoen, who cared for him for four years, confirmed this, stating his outbursts could last up to an hour. They described Jaliek as a very intelligent but very troubled child. The Schoens had originally planned to adopt him, but after he attacked their daughter when he was seven, they decided he could no longer stay in their home and he went to live with Kerr and McDonald, who have three biological sons and one adopted daughter. The children ranged in age from eight to fourteen at the time of Jaliek's disappearance.

    Jaliek's adoptive family lead a non-traditional lifestyle at the time of his disappearance: their home in rural Washington County, New York had no running water, the toilets are outhouses, its only electricity comes from a generator that runs for several hours during the day, and everyone slept in one room. The family stated they lived this way because it was better for the environment. A photo of the Washington County house is posted below this case summary. Jaliek's family still owns the home, but in 2008 they moved to West Rupert, Vermont.

    Kerr and McDonald stated Jaliek was both suicidal and homicidal at the time of his disappearance, but he was not taking any psychiatric drugs for his mental conditions and he hadn't been receiving psychotherapy either. On October 23, 2007, a little over a week prior to Jaliek's disappearance, Kerr called a crisis hotline and said Jaliek was unmanageable, he had threatened a small child in his homeschool group, McDonald was afraid of him and no longer wanted him in her home, and his parents wanted to reverse the adoption. The crisis worker said it was not possible to reverse the adoption and suggested respite care be tried instead. Jaliek was sent to the home of Elaine and Tom Person, licensed foster parents who had provided respite care for him in the past. They kept him until November 1, then gave him back to Kerr, who planned to send him to another respite home the next day. That was the day Jaliek was reported missing.

    An extensive search of the area turned up no indication of Jaliek's whereabouts. Within a few days police announced they thought he could have met with foul play, since it is unlikely that a child of that age could survive on his own. The possibilities that Jaliek ran away or committed suicide have not been ruled out, however. McDonald took a polygraph in his case, but Kerr refused to take one. Both parents maintain their innocence in his case and stated they believed their son simply ran away. They suggested he might be living with an African-American family or gang, as Jaliek had always considered himself African-American rather than biracial and had wanted to live with other African-Americans.

    The Persons said the farewell note Jaliek supposedly left on the night he vanished was not a goodbye note, but rather a letter he was assigned to write by his father for homework. Kerr allegedly told his son to write a note apologizing to the people he had harmed, and Tom saw him writing it, although he didn't actually read it. Elaine and Tom believe this was the note found after Jaliek vanished. Elaine, several of Jaliek's former foster parents, and his adoptive maternal grandparents have started a website publicizing Jaliek's disappearance. Elaine wrote she believed Kerr harmed Jaliek on the day he went missing and caused his disappearance.

    In January 2008, police named Kerr as a person of interest in Jaliek's disappearance. They stated they had video surveillance camera footage of Kerr driving his van around Greenwich after midnight on the night of Jaliek's disappearance, at a time Kerr says he was asleep. Cellular phone records also indicate Kerr took a different route to the house than he had said. Investigators appealed for information on Kerr's whereabouts on November 1 and November 2. Later in January, an anonymous letter about the case was sent to several local media outlets. The letter read:

    Jaliek still alive
    Needed a foot soldier for this war on drugs
    Picked him up Rt 40 Post 30
    He's ok
    No fake
    He says asks his Mama and Papa

    Who are the macaronni [sic] family?
    My cat name diamond?
    Why does Franti yell fire?
    Don't try to look we are not there.

    Jaliek did own a cat named Diamond, but the significance of the other statements are unclear. Authorities appealed to the letter writer to give more information, but the person was never heard from again and was never identified. Police conducted a search warrant on Kerr's father's home, where Jaliek stayed when he disappeared, in February 2008. They seized a computer to try to determine if the machine was used to write the letter. They couldn't prove it one way or the other, however. Days after the search, Kerr and McDonald filed a lawsuit against the police department, alleging they had been illegally detained and that the search was improper.

    Jaliek's adoptive maternal grandmother, Barbara Reeley, has been active in the search for him and filed for custody of him after his disappearance, but was denied. In July 2008, she was charged with burglarizing Kerr and McDonald's home. Reeley has pleaded not guilty. Shortly after the burglary, police went to the home and removed a piece of clothing for testing. They stated Reeley had seen the clothing while she was inside; in a media interview, Reeley said it was the yellow fleece shirt Jaliek was said to have been wearing when he disappeared. Photographs of Reeley, Kerr and McDonald are posted below this case summary.

    In a media interview, Reeley stated Kerr had anger management issues and had been going to counseling for them, and that McDonald had made him move out of the family home for brief periods twice in 2007 because of his angry behavior towards the children. Reeley said she witnessed one incident where Kerr became angry with Jaliek, dragged him outside and repeatedly dunked him in a nearby creek. She said McDonald made Kerr write a letter of apology to Jaliek for this and made him do the child's chores for a month.

    Jaliek may be in the New York cities of Albany or Altamont. Authorities stated they have little evidence as to his fate and no one has been charged in connection with his case, but foul play is suspected in his disappearance.

    Kerr McDonald
    Reeley House
    Top Left: Stephen Kerr in 2007;
    Top Right: Jocelyn McDonald in 2007;
    Bottom Left: Barbara Reeley in 2008;
    Bottom Right: Jaliek Rainwalker's house

    Bar

    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Greenwich Village Police Department
    518-692-9332

    Bar

    Source Information
    The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
    New York State Missing and Exploited Children Clearinghouse
    New York State Troopers
    America's Most Wanted
    The Albany Times Union
    WCAX-TV
    The Post-Star
    WXXA-TV
    Capital News 9
    The Find Jaliek Task Force
    The Schenectady Daily Gazette
    WTEN News 10
    MySpace Page for Jaliek Rainwalker
    Find Our Missing

    Bar

    Updated 7 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated July 28, 2013; details of disappearance updated.

    Charley Project Home