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DNA results show man is not D'Wan Sims, whose 1994 disappearance made national headlines

George Hunter
The Detroit News

Livonia — A DNA test has disproven a 33-year-old man's claim that he might be D'Wan Sims, the 4-year-old boy whose 1994 disappearance made national headlines.

The man, Mike Cash, authored a Facebook post in 2019 saying he suspected he was D'Wan, and submitted a DNA sample to Livonia police. Shortly after posting the claim, Cash told The Detroit News his cousins informed him he was D'Wan and that his mother had never been pregnant. 

D'Wan Sims in 1994

But the recently returned DNA results aren't a match, Livonia Police Capt. Tom Goralski said.

"(Cash) came forward and said he thought he might be D'Wan Sims because someone told him he was, and he looked like him, but we took his DNA and sent it to the lab, and got the lab results back this week," Goralski said.

"His DNA does not match," said Goralski, who investigated D'Wan's disappearance. "He's not D'Wan. For his part, it's hopefully some closure for him. For us, it means our investigation is still ongoing, and we're still trying to solve the case."

Reached by telephone Wednesday, Cash declined to comment.

The disappearance of D'Wan Sims started as a Detroit News brief, but the case soon made national headlines.

D'Wan's mother, Dwanna Wiggins, died Dec. 7 in her North Carolina home. She told police she and her son walked into Livonia's Wonderland Mall on Dec. 11, 1994, and that someone kidnapped D'Wan after she lost track of him.

After surveillance video showed Wiggins, whose surname was Harris at the time, walking into the mall alone, and after she failed two lie detector tests, she became the main suspect in the case, although she maintained her innocence through the years.

Cash told The News in 2019: "The first time I became aware of D'Wan Sims was around 1999, when a psychic came (on television and talked about the case). I remember looking at my younger pictures, and thinking 'That looks just like me.'

"My cousins said, 'It is you. You're D'Wan Sims.' They'd make jokes," Cash said. "But it's not funny."

Former Livonia police chief Robert Stevenson, who was a member of the department's surveillance unit at the time of D'Wan's disappearance, told The News previously that investigators were convinced of Wiggins' culpability.

"I can tell you that not one person who worked on that investigation believed her story," Stevenson told The News previously.

Stevenson said more than 40 investigators from Livonia and Detroit police departments, Michigan State Police and the FBI were involved in the investigation.

"It was one of the largest investigations to ever take place in Michigan," he said.

Anyone with information about the D'Wan Sims disappearance is asked to call (734) 466-2470.