Three-month-old Matthew's mother met a woman in 1983 who called herself Kathy Johnson, who was a worker at a rodeo that had stopped in Fort Smith, Arkansas. A friend of Matthew's family met her and introduced her to Matthew's mother.
Matthew's father was in jail at the time, and Matthew's mother needed help with child care, so she asked Kathy to stay in her home in Van Buren, Arkansas for a week to watch her three children.
On the night of June 9, 1983, there was a party at Matthew's home and alcohol was served. When Matthew's mother woke up in the morning, Matthew and Kathy were both gone & the family car was also missing; and three other children were left at the trailer. Neither Matthew nor his abductor have ever been seen again.
Kathy had told Matthew's mother she was 26 years old. She also said that she had lost two children shortly after they were born; she said her children (had they lived) would have been 9 and 6 years old by 1983. She may also use the first name Judy.
Matthew's abductor is described as a Caucasian female about 5'4, with blonde hair. She had a chipped or decayed front tooth, a 6 to 7-inch scar on her left shoulder blade, and a puncture scar six to eight inches above her right knee.
She had a tattoo of a green and yellow star or sunburst on the left side of her chest, a tattoo of a unicorn on her upper left arm, a long scar on the back of her right shoulder and a tattoo on her upper right arm of the name "Kathy" with a ribbon above it.
Matthew and his abductor may have traveled through Utah to California after his abduction.
Authorities believe the abductor may have taken Matthew to raise him as her son; they think Matthew is probably still alive and doesn't know his true identity.
Matthew is described as a Caucasian male with brown hair & brown eyes, weighs 15 pounds and has a height of 2'5. He had a concave chest at the time of his disappearance. It's unknown what clothing he was wearing when he was abducted.