Jonathan Edward Hagans: Missing from Florida since 1968

Published: Updated: 1 comment

UPDATE, JANUARY 11, 2020: Please read the comments at the end of this article. Jonathan’s family was kind enough to clear things up regarding details of his disappearance. This info is not mentioned in the media reports I found.

Three-year-old Jonathan Edward Hagans disappeared on June 11, 1968, while at the beach with his family. He has never been found.

About the Case

Jonathan Edward Hagans
Photo credit: The Doe Network

On June 11, 1968, the Hagans family – Joe and Marjean Hagans and their three children, including three-year-old Jonathan – decided to spend the warm summer day at the beach in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

At some point, Jonathan disappeared. Witnesses claimed they saw him following behind Joe as Joe walked towards a snack bar area.

Police were called, but they assumed Jonathan drowned in the ocean. Joe and Marjean never believed their son was dead.

Despite interviews with those who knew the little boy and searches along the beach, Jonathan was never found.

In 1989, 21 years after Jonathan vanished, a man telephoned Marjean claiming to be her long-lost boy. She agreed to meet the man. The next day, David Bonnabel flew to Tallahassee to meet the Hagans. Marjean took one look at him and believed it was Jonathan. David also claimed to remember certain things about the family, for example, the family-owned green car around the time of Jonathan’s disappearance.

However, as she spoke further with David, things did not feel right, so Marjean asked for a DNA test to be performed. It proved he was not Jonathan Hagans.

David Bonnabel was actually from Mexico, born to Mexican parents. Once his identity was revealed, he changed his stories about his identity and Jonathan’s fate. David Bonnabel was nothing but a con man.

Jonathan Edward Hagans has never been found. His family has always believed he was kidnapped and may still be alive. He would now be 51 years old.

True Crime Diva’s Thoughts

UPDATE, JANUARY 11, 2020: Please read the comments at the end of this article. Jonathan’s family was kind enough to clear things up regarding the details of his disappearance. This info is not mentioned in the media reports I found.

There isn’t a lot of info on this case. It’s kind of hard to say what happened here. The main reason I wrote about it is that it’s old, and I don’t want this little boy forgotten.

This was a summer day on a beach. The mean temperature for that day was 82 degrees, so there were probably several people at the beach. Witnesses say they saw Jonathan walking behind his father on his way to the snack bar area, but there doesn’t appear to be any more sightings after that, which is strange.

It’s easy to say Jonathan walked into the water and drowned. After all, he was only 3 years old. I’m just not sure that’s what happened here.

If he was abducted, there were no sightings of an actual abduction taking place, which could mean Jonathan willingly went with whoever kidnapped him. People at the beach could have thought the person was a parent. It’s just strange that this kid disappeared in broad daylight at a public place without more sightings of him.

I don’t know what to say about Bonnabel. Yes, he was a con man, but I am curious how he knew the Hagans’ information.

Jonathan has a brother and sister, but I could not find any info on them or their parents. I did see that a Marjean Hagans passed away in 1992, but I’m not sure it’s Jonathan’s mother.

1 comment

Robert Shepherd January 12, 2017 - 12:53 PM

Smacks of the Beaumont children who, along with countless other disappeared from beaches and coastal towns in Southern Australia during the 1980’s onwards. There one minute, and gone the next. Main difference is that their were sightings of the three Beaumont children playing with a stranger on the beach, and again in the back yard of someone’s home. They have never been found, nor anyone charged in connection with their disappearance. The English expression ‘in the blink of an eye’ sadly proves very apt. Also thinking of Sandy Davidson who went missing within 20 seconds of chasing his dog out of the garden side gate. That was in Scotland over 30years ago, though thankfully it is still very much an active investigation, despite few leads in all that time. I hope somebody will take an interest and actively reopen the investigation, or launch a massive reappeal for information.


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True Crime Diva

True Crime Diva

I've blogged true crime since 2010, happily taking up only a tiny corner of the internet. I'm not here for attention; I'm here to tell you their stories.

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