Two-month-old Donel was abducted from his mother's apartment in Inglewood, California on December 20, 1984.
His mother, Deanna L. Trammel, previously had a photographic portrait made of her son. An unidentified Caucasian male arrived at their house, claiming to have the photo proofs in his black briefcase.
Deanna let him inside while Donel was asleep at the time. While he was there, the man asked for a drink of water and Deanna left the room to get him one. When she returned, both Donel and the man were gone.
There was no ransom note or any other clues left behind, and neither Donel or the suspect has ever been seen again.
The man was approximately 6'0 with a thin build; he had brown hair, a moustache, and was wearing a long-sleeved white dress shirt, a dark tie and dark-colored trousers. Donel's abductor has never been identified.
Several area portrait businesses had sent salespeople door to door offering to make and sell holiday portraits, but none of them could be linked to Donel's abduction.
Deanna passed a polygraph in relation to the case, but Donel remains missing.