Film renews interest in missing child case
Film documentary renews interest in missing child case
WEST CHESTER >> Two local filmmakers presented a documentary about an 11-year-old boy, who went missing in 1991 after he reportedly left to observe a brush fire, to the Cape May Film Festival on Nov. 12.
Rip Saling and Ed Claypoole, both of West Chester, set out in 2014 to make a short documentary about Mark Himebuagh, the 11-year-old who left his Del Haven, New Jersey, home and never returned. In doing so, they hoped to raise awareness about the continuing investigation and awareness to similar cases.
They knew of the incident from their family connections. Their uncle, Joe Nickel, is Maureen Himebaugh’s longtime partner. Maureen Himebaugh is Mark Himebaugh’s mother.
“We thought it was a story that needed to be told,” said Saling. “It’s been a long process, but hopefully it might give some answers.”
The film, titled “The One Percent,” is about 15 minutes long and includes interviews from Mark’s mother and members of law enforcement involved in the case. The film gets its name from the statistic that 1 percent of children reported missing by their caregiver are never found.
When the film debuted on Saturday, Saling said “there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.”
Mark went missing on Nov. 25, 1991, and would be 36 years old today. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, he went missing at about 4 p.m. His left shoe was found about 75 yards from his home.
Saling said the film helped renew interest in the cold case, and that both he and Claypoole are following up with media outlets to get the documentary aired. Both he and Claypoole worked on the film. Saling conducted interviews while Claypoole served as videographer. Both worked on drafting interview questions.
“It’s very emotional,” Saling said, speaking of the nature of the questions Mark’s family and investigators were asked.
He said after the documentary aired, Maureen and some of the other interviewees spoke. “They’re all very happy we produced this,” Saling said.
Ed Claypoole (left) and Rip Saling (right) worked for about two years to produce “The One Percent,” a documentary that they hope will revitalize interest in a cold case of an 11-year-old boy who went missing in November 1991.