Breiton Ackerman (Courtesy Brad Ackerman and the Sioux City Journal)

Breiton Ackerman (Courtesy Brad Ackerman and the Sioux City Journal)

Breiton Scott Ackerman

Missing Person

Name: Breiton Scott Ackerman
Age at Report: 4
Date of Birth: July 10, 2000
Weight: 40 lbs.
Height: 3’0″
Race: Caucasian
Hair: Sandy
Eyes: Hazel
Sex: Male
Missing From: Alton / Orange City, Iowa
Sioux County
Sioux County Sheriff’s Office
Case Number: 05-791
NCMEC Number: 1176955
NamUs Number: #MP9825
Missing Since: May 22, 2005


Case summary compiled by Jody Ewing


Searching for Breiton AckermanCourtesy photo Tim Hynds/Sioux City Journal
September 2005: Volunteers, from left, Cory Riemersma of Orange City, Carl Mulder of Orange City, Dave Goslings of Sioux Center, and Curtis Winterfeld of Hawarden search the banks of Willow Creek northeast of Le Mars for the body of four-year-old Breiton Ackerman of rural Alton. Police have never found any trace of what happened to the boy, who went missing May 22, 2005, and is presumed to have drowned.

Breiton Scott Ackerman, 4 years old, disappeared on Sunday, May 22, 2005, while on a fishing trip with his family near Alton, Iowa. He was reported missing to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office in Orange City, Iowa, that same day.

The Ackerman family were on a small concrete bridge over Willow Creek and said they lost sight of him for less than a minute some time between 3 and 4 p.m.

At the time he went missing, Breiton was described as a 4-year-old white male child with sandy-colored hair, hazel eyes, about 3-feet tall and weighing about 40 pounds. He was last seen wearing a green tank top and denim shorts.

Many believed Breiton fell into the creek and drowned, but extensive searches by divers, dogs, helicopters and heavy equipment in both the water and surrounding area turned up nothing.

Thinking the current may have carried his body downstream, officials conducted another search in the area where Willow Creek meets the Floyd River near Le Mars, but they recovered nothing.

Seven Years Later

Every May 22, Brad Ackerman visits the spot where his son disappeared.

“I don’t think you ever quit wondering, quit worrying,” Ackerman, of Alton, told the Sioux City Journal in a story published May 21, 2012.

Searchers had gone so far as to tear up the concrete bridge where Breiton was last seen, even though Sioux County Sheriff Dan Altena told the Journal a child Breiton’s size would have only floated 100 yards down the creek.

“We found nothing. Not one iota,” Altena said. “Not a piece of ripped shirt or anything.”

The Journal also reported in the May 21, 2012 article:

Sioux County deputies reexamined the case a few years ago. They gave a polygraph examination to a relative at creek that day. Although they didn’t suspect the man, who went for help, of harming Breiton, Altena said they wanted to know if Breiton could have sneaked inside the vehicle without anyone knowing it.

Altena said the man passed the polygraph, and that no one at the creek is suspected of harming Breiton.

Read the Sioux City Journal’s full article here.

In addition to the interview, the Journal also posted a Crime Watch Video where Brad Ackerman shared memories about his son and talked about what it’s like not knowing what happened to his son after all these years. (See below.)

Brad Ackerman talks to the Sioux City Journal about his missing son, Breiton Ackerman. Video Date: May 21, 2012

About Breiton Ackerman

From Breiton’s obituary published in the Sioux City Journal:

ALTON, Iowa — Breiton Scott Ackerman, 4-year old son of Brad and Beth Ackerman of rural Alton, is presumed to have passed away Sunday, May 22, 2005, in a drowning accident.

Breiton Ackerman

Breiton Ackerman (Courtesy IA Dept. of Public Safety)

Memorial services were held Friday, May 27, at 2 p.m. at Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Orange City, with the Rev. David Heilman officiating. Arrangements were under the direction of Oolman Funeral Home in Orange City.

Breiton was born July 10, 2000, in Orange City, the son of Brad and Beth (De Jong) Ackerman. He was raised in rural Alton and attended Orange City Headstart and Covenant Kids Preschool. He was a baptized member of the Immanuel Christian Reformed Church in Orange City.

He loved being outdoors with his dad and playing with his classmates and cousins. His favorite outdoors activities were riding a four-wheeler, fishing and camping. He enjoyed playing farm, especially with his toy horses. He was often referred to as “B” or “Daddy’s Melon Head.”

His favorite shirt was his “monkey muscle shirt”, which was a sleeveless t-shirt that matched one of his dad’s shirts. He and his cousin, Zachary, shared a favorite saying, “He did it.”

Sioux County in Iowa
Sioux County in Iowa
Alton in Sioux CountyAlton in Sioux County

Survivors included his parents; three sisters, Roslyn, Cassandra “Cassie” and Sara, all at home; grandparents, Dennis and Gloria Vander Plaats of Sioux Center, Iowa, and Glenn and Jacqueline De Jong of Alton; several great-grandparents; a great-great-grandmother; and uncles, aunts and cousins, Tim and Pam Ackerman and their children, Katelyn, Samuel and Maggie, Dan and Denise Vander Plaats and their children, Ben and Emma, Nathan and Shawna Vander Plaats, Josh and Amanda Vander Plaats, David and Michelle Kremers and their children, Justin, Ashley and Connor, and Scott and Erica De Jong and their children, Zachary and Brooke.

He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Bud Ackerman Jr.; and a cousin, Allie Rae De Jong.

Memorials may be directed to the Immanuel Christian Reformed Church special fund at any of the Orange City banks.

Information Needed

If you have any information regarding Breiton Ackerman’s disappearance, please contact the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office at (712) 737-2280 or Deputy Tony Reitsma at (712) 737-3307.



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49 Responses to Breiton Ackerman

  1. Chris says:

    I have tried to tell people, there are these things in the woods. They are a cross between a dog and a monkey. They are invisible to the naked eye, until you hit them with direct light and the moment it hits them they will move away. I know how crazy it sounds. But someone actually caught one on video recently in England. You can find the video on search Demon Dog.
    Act accordingly.

  2. Buster Bratamus says:

    My theory. He saw something upstream. a person, a dog etc,, he went over to investigate and was grabbed. or followed whatever it was..

  3. George Cossio says:

    This sounds like a textbook missing 411 case , David Politis is a investigator who has researched thousands of missing people who just vanished out of thin air. This is definitely a missing 411 case that David investigates

  4. Joseph Fournet says:

    So sad. We pray for Ackerman family today and far into the future. I believe this is a missing 411 case that fits Dave Pilaides profile points. These disappearances cannot be explained and we can only hope and pray these mysterious disappearances will one day be solved, so the pain and suffering will cease. God Bless you All!!!

  5. Angie says:

    Lost site of him for less of a min, between 3 and 4? Maybe he ventured off into the countryside by Alton. Hopefully the police checked there to. ❤️

  6. My Aunt and Uncle know his family and said how terrible it was for them. :(

  7. upinomaha says:

    I have read nearly all of the cold case files on here and this one haunts me. It defies belief. People do not vanish in one or two feed of water. Were scent dogs ever brought in? I only ask because going by the everything mentioned only a predatory animal could have snatched the poor boy that fast and taken off with him without anyone seeing or hearing it. Perhaps a mountain lion if it got his throat on its initial attack. Otherwise the screams would alert attention. I do hope my suspicions and/or comments do not offend anyone.

  8. LuAnn says:

    He was a cutie… He would be the same age as my youngest daughter as she will be 17 this October…This is heartbreaking. .My thoughts & prayers to the family!!

  9. Are there any culverts, manhole covers, or storm drains in the area?

  10. Very sad prayers to this family

  11. This is heartbreaking… Prayers for healing and closure

  12. Kelli Scott says:

    So sad adorable little guy…

  13. Maybe he was taken…

  14. Mike Byrne says:

    What a sad,and strange,story.

  15. The “never knowing” would be the hardest part for me!! :(

  16. They had the funeral so soon. Only a few days after he went missing. Very sad story but after reading it idk… Seems like the searches should have gone on longer.

  17. Elliott Lanosa says:

    After reading this article it seems to me that someone in this family knows for sure what happened to this little guy. All the searches and experts doing what they could to find him tells me that he did NOT fall into the water, but that he may have been the victim of an angry parent who killed him.

    • Anonymous says:

      Curious on what kind of fishing happens in a creek that’s about ~1-2 feet deep (based on search pictures) even with flooding…? What seems odd is the father mentioned that the kid would come out to the cattle barns on Saturday mornings, but he slightly cringes when he says that… Also, he uses the word “accident”… They search a wide area, and if a car drove by they should have heard it, being most of the roads are gravel around there… Sorry to say, but this doesn’t completely add up to me… Sorry if I’m off-base, but I would almost guess it was a farming accident where the kid got severely injured, and they made up a a story about fishing a creek as a cya…

      • Mike says:

        That is sure something to think about.It would be hard for the family to keep a secret like that,though.Maybe they should question the family again and see if their stories are the same or different 13 years later.Murder has no statute of limitation.If the little boy died from a farm accident,I doubt if anyone would be charged with murder.There are other crimes like consealing a death or false reporting of a crime,though.

      • Buster Bratamus says:

        Farm accidents happen alll the time. What reason would they have to lie of “cover up” and accident?

  18. You would think someone would have heard a splash if he fallen into the water. Such a sad story. Prayers his family finds information of what happened that day.

  19. Elliott Lanosa says:

    Your policy is right but it is unfortunate that more often than not these missing children are victims of those who are supposed to protect them. I would say that is the case here.

  20. So sad :( prayer to that boy and his family. Could only imagine

  21. Tina Carroll, they still don’t know what happened to him. They searched a huge area by land and also the creek but weren’t ever able to locate him. Jody @ ICC

  22. Prayers they find what truly happened to him. So sad

  23. Prayers sent to all the family.

  24. Maybe he wandered off Into a forest? Or someone took him along a road?

    • Karsten De Jong says:

      I live very close and there are no forests around. The only trees really are one every 20 yards at the most

  25. prayers to his family.

  26. Tina Carroll says:

    are they thinking he didn’t drown?

  27. prayers to the Ackerman family

  28. Thoughts and prayers^^^

  29. Roslyn Punt says:

    Happy Birthday, B man. We all miss you and your contagious smile! Love you forever and always!

  30. Same here prayers and thoughts with the family

  31. prayers and thoughts to his family. ♥

  32. Happy 13th birthday to him Where every he is<3 god bless everyone.

  33. God Bless him and his family. I hope and pray answers come your way this is no fun to be surprised about.

  34. my heart aches for this boys family

  35. I can’t even imagine not knowing what happened to my child :( that poor family! I hope they get some kind of answers someday <3

  36. Theresa says:

    Is it Possible he headed up towards the road? Do they recall whether a car or cars drove by?

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