ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Police in Alaska’s largest city are reaching out to the public to see if people can provide new leads in the disappearance nine years ago of a 6-year-old boy.
DeShawn McCormick’s mother said she last saw her son in the spring of 2013 during a visit to Alaska. She had previously moved out-of-state, and DeShawn’s father, Floyd L. Lee Jr., had legal custody and lived with the child in Alaska.
It was discovered that DeShawn was missing when later that year his father and his father’s girlfriend were arrested by the FBI on unrelated securities fraud charges and a court granted DeShawn’s mother custody of the boy.
Law enforcement officials, however, were unable to find DeShawn and said there was no indication that any other child other than the girlfriend’s two children were living at the home the father and girlfriend shared. Authorities determined DeShawn hadn’t been seen or heard from since April 2013.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children lists the boy’s disappearance date as April 1, 2013. The FBI was the initial investigating agency, and the Anchorage Police Department got the case Feb. 10, 2014.
“This case is unique being the length of time that DeShawn has not been seen,” Police Detective Dave Cordie told reporters on Thursday.
However, he said there are success stories of children being found after long absences.
“I’ve seen cases 15, 20 years they’ve been found. We always hold out hope,” Cordie said.
Cordie became the lead investigator on the case in 2017, and this is his oldest missing person case.
“We need some help from the community,” Cordie said. “We feel that somebody out there could assist us in this, and all it takes is that one little bit of information that could bring us back in the fore light, and we can move it forward to where we could possibly find DeShawn.”
The case remains an open investigation. “There’s always things we’re looking at, but right now, as far as persons of interest or suspects? No,” he said.
DeShawn’s father remained in Alaska after serving time in prison after being convicted of the securities fraud charges and Cordie said he has spoken to authorities about his son’s disappearance.
Since the case is open, Cordie declined to give out some specific details, including what the father has told them and where the boys’ mother now lives. He would only say she lives on the West Coast. Attempts by The Associated Press to reach the father on Thursday were not immediately successful.
Anchorage police have worked with officials in several states in the Lower 48 and outside of the U.S. to try to solve the case but those leads have been exhausted, Cordie said.
Police distributed photos of DeShawn at the news conference, including an age-progression photo of what he could look like as a young teenager.
“We hold out positive hope that we can find Deshawn,” Cordie said.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said DeShawn, which they spell Deshawn, is biracial with blonde hair and brown eyes. He has a scar in the middle of his forehead.