DE SOTO, Mo. – A Missouri man who became part of an international story is being remembered for his selflessness. When Craig Akers’ son, Shawn Hornbeck, went missing, Akers also helped other parents find children who had disappeared.
On Monday night, friends and family arrive at the Mahn Funeral Home in DeSoto for the visitation of Craig Akers. He was 57.
“Craig was a dedicated family man. He will be missed,” said Dawn Robertson, a family friend.
When his 11-year-old son was kidnapped in October 2002, Craig became very dedicated in finding his boy. Shawn was found alive and his kidnapper arrested in January 2007. During those years of not knowing where Shawn was, Craig reached out to other families.
“Anytime a child was missing he was the first one—sick as a dog—get up and try to help,” said friend Angela Forshee.
That’s what many folks remember about Craig – his selflessness.
“It’s a good feeling knowing somebody that would do good for anybody,” said Hattie Wall.
“It has touched everyone, what this family’s been through, and what Craig did for other families also,” said Todd Mahn, the owner of the funeral home.
The disappearance and reunion with Shawn made international headlines. His widow, Pam, and son Shawn apparently share a special bond that is helping them during this time of loss.
“They’re doing good. Shawn is grown up. Even now they’re strong together,” said Jason Huncovsky, Akers’ son-in-law.
Akers served in the United States Air Force and was a member of Patriot Guard. Patriot Guard members will escort Akers to his final resting place Tuesday in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, where he will be laid to rest with full military honors.