Real Name: Unrevealed
Case: Lost Siblings
Location: Cook County, Illinois
Date: March 29, 1947
Details: Friends and family of Jim Boumgarden claim that they have seen him in several places that he was never actually at; the first occurrence involved Jim's brother-in-law Rick Holder. Rick was at a company softball game in Rockford, Illinois, in 1984, when he saw a man who he thought was Jim pitching for the opposing team. After the game was over, he went up the man and tried to talk to him, but the man was confused and left. Five years later and just a few miles away, Jim's father Ernie was leaving his doctor's office when he thought he saw Jim in the parking lot. Ernie called for his son, but received no response from the man.
After hearing these stories, Jim remembered something that happened to him when he was a child. When he was eleven and visiting his grandparents in Rochelle, Illinois, several neighborhood kids began to talk to him, calling him "Billy," Jim told the other kids that his name wasn't Billy, but they were also confused. He didn't think much of the incident until years later when his brother-in-law and father told him about his double.
Often in Rockford, people would introduce themselves to Jim in an unusually friendly way, as if they had known him. On Christmas Day, 1991, Shirley Hurling, a convenience store worker, served a customer that she assumed was Jim. A few minutes later, Jim and his wife Cindy walked in. Shirley asked Jim if he had forgotten something, but he told her that this was the first time that he had been there that day. Three weeks later, Cindy was visiting Jim's grandmother Sophie when she mentioned Jim's strange encounters with his apparent double. Jim's father Ernie had died a few weeks earlier and had told Sophie a secret that she finally revealed: Jim had a twin brother. Jim had always known that he was adopted, but had no idea that he actually had a twin.
Jim began searching for his birth family. He obtained a family history from the adoption agency; however, no names were used. The document did mention that Jim's birth mother had a nephew that drowned at age fourteen. Jim spent hours searching through old newspapers at the library before he found a story about his birth cousin's drowning in 1945. His birth mother's family name was Hieronimus. Through the phone book, Jim located a woman by that name; she lived just twenty miles away. The woman was Myrtle Hieronimus, and she identified herself as Jim's aunt, his birth mother's sister. Myrtle showed a photograph of Jim's birth mother Hazel; he learned that she had died three years earlier. Myrtle told Jim that Hazel had cut herself off from the family years earlier, and that they had known nothing about the birth of Jim and his twin. However, Myrtle did know that Hazel had a daughter, born in 1945. Jim now wants to find his half-sister and twin brother.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the September 2, 1992 episode.
Results: Unresolved. Jim was reunited with his sister, Judy Sullivan, soon after the broadcast, but never was able to locate his twin brother. Sadly, Jim died a year later, but his sister and other family members are still seaching for the twin. They believe that Jim's brother's name is Billy and that he was born in the Salvation County Hospital in Cook County, Illinois, on March 29, 1947, and was adopted by a family in Rochelle, Illinois.