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Since returning home, Shawn has not opened up about what happened to him. On the advice of a child advocate, Pam says they have not asked Shawn any questions—but, she hopes at some point he will open up about his horrific ordeal. Craig and Pam say they think Shawn was likely sexually abused, though they have no proof. "When this stuff comes out, we need professionals there that know how to deal with that specific circumstance, whenever we find out what that circumstance is. The last thing we want to do is put him through any more mental anguish," Craig says.
"I have no doubt that mentally he's not the same boy that he was. Physically, we don't see any signs of anything, but that's four and a half years—it's really hard to say," Craig says.
Pam says she does want to know "as much as I can bear" about the years Shawn was away from her, but acknowledges that there might be things Shawn doesn't want to share. "[Shawn] has said he doesn't want to see the sadness in his mother's eyes any more, and his father. He wants to give them some peace, and he just wants to see them smile more," says Shawn's aunt, Sheri.