Local News

Gang violence may be key to Fayetteville missing case

Posted January 15, 2011 10:59 p.m. EST

— Investigators are considering whether a missing Fayetteville teen was a victim of gang violence when he disappeared in 2005.

Family members said that Michael Borges, 17, may have joined a gang shortly before he vanished.

"If he chose to live that lifestyle, that gang lifestyle, then there is nothing I can do," said his father, Jimmy Borges. "But then the father in me says, 'Maybe he wants somebody to find him. Maybe he's in a position where he's in a gang and he can't get out, even if he wants to."

Borges moved from his father's home in New Jersey to live with his mother in Fayetteville in 2004.

April 30, 2005 was the last time Vanessa Borges saw her son.

"I said, 'son, you don't look well.' And he said, 'Mommy, I'll be right back.' And that was it," she said.

Police said Borges was dropped off by a friend at the intersection of Old Spears Road and Toll Gate Road not far from his house.

"It's very common for teenagers in this area to walk around in the neighborhood, walk home," said Lieutenant Chuck Dew of the Fayetteville police department. "He was potentially going to see some friends prior to walking home for the evening."

But he never made it home.

"It would only be natural to suspect the possibility that foul play could be involved in Michael's disappearance," Dew said.

Vanessa Borges said she won't believe her son was a victim until police show her Michael's body.

"Until somebody can prove me wrong, my son's alive," she said. "I'm never going to stop looking for my son. I'm never going to stop believing that he's alive. Until I have my son back with me, it's still an open investigation as far as I'm concerned."

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Michael Borges can call NC Wanted's tipline at 1-866-439-2683 or .