Tristen "Buddy" Myers disappeared after walking away from his Sampson County home in October 2000. Investigators have been following several leads in the case, but up until now, those leads led to nowhere.
Sgt. Darold Cox, of the Sampson County Sheriff's Office, said he is following his most promising lead yet. Authorities in Chicago arrested a man with a boy matching Myers' description.
"He was stopped at a traffic stop, and he was a wanted person, so they incarcerated him and took the little boy into custody," Cox said.
Authorities say the man told them that the boy's name is Eli Quick, but he could not name any of the boy's family members. Police called Social Services, who placed the boy in foster care. Social workers have been trying to confirm the boy's identity, but they said the boy may have been brainwashed.
The social workers' search led them to the
National Center For Missing & Exploited Children
Web site where they saw Myers' picture.
Donna Myers, Buddy's aunt, said she cannot help but to get her hopes up.
"There are so many things that point to it being him that we are just praying that it is," she said. "If it's not him, he's got a twin."
Authorities say the boy has the same facial features, scars and speech impediment as Myers.
Authorities have sent DNA samples from Buddy's mother to Chicago for comparison. Authorities say it could be up to six weeks before they get some kind of confirmation.
"One day is too long for me. I would like to know now," Myers said.
Authorities say the man arrested in Chicago was traveling from Colorado. Authorities say he was wanted on outstanding shoplifting warrants,
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