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After 40-Day Search, Authorities Finally Replace Missing Boy

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After Birth

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After 40-Day Search, Authorities Finally Replace Missing Boy

WILMINGTON, NC—Following an exhaustive six-week search, federal and local authorities announced Monday that they have finally located a suitable replacement for abducted 3-year-old James Van Elst. "It took more than 500 man-hours to locate a child with the right eye and hair color, but we're very satisfied with the outcome of this case," said lead investigator Kevin Callahan, adding that the real Van Elst boy "was probably dead before we even knew he was missing." "To find, after all this time, a child who looks enough like James and is pretty much the same height—well, it's a miracle." James' parents said that while losing their son was a nightmarish experience they are thankful that whoever abducted their boy fed him so well that he gained about 20 pounds.

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