Missing Indiana boy may be in ‘extreme danger’
Police searching for a missing 14-year-old boy in Indiana tested his parents after a photo provided to aid the investigation showed him wearing a T-shirt smeared with the words “liar” and “cheater.”
Scottie Dean Morris was last seen in his hometown of Eaton, located 76 miles northeast of Indianapolis, at 8:30 p.m. on March 16. “He is believed to be in extreme danger and may require medical assistance,” a missing person alert said.
Police called off their search Monday night after his mother, Felicia Morris, made a desperate appeal directly to Scottie, urging him to come home.
The Eaton Police Department initially released a distressing photo of Scottie wearing a white T-shirt with the words “I’m a liar” handwritten in a felt-tip pen. The shirt also contained the word “cheat” and appeared to read “I hurt my brother.”
Police later apologized for sharing the image and reposted a version with the cropped shirt. But Police Chief Jay Turner said it was “the only photo” the department was given and “shown as an investigative tool”, suggesting it could hold clues to the circumstances of Scottie’s disappearance or help in search.
The Eaton Police Department initially released a distressing photo of Scottie wearing a white T-shirt with the words “I’m a liar” handwritten in a felt-tip pen. The image has been removed, but it is believed that Scottie was wearing the shirt when he disappeared.
His mother, Felicia Morris, also issued a desperate appeal to Scottie directly, urging him to return home.
The photo was reportedly taken the day Scottie went missing. The missing person note also says that he was “last seen wearing black shoes, red and black shorts, and a white T-shirt with writing on the front,” suggesting that he was wearing it at the time.
Deputy Chief Chris Liggett said Monday that “a number of interviews have been conducted, polygraphs have been conducted.”
“We have no new leads, no new information, we are a bit stuck at the moment,” he said.
He said the search was called off Monday night ahead of a Tuesday meeting between law enforcement officials and other emergency services.
The recent cold weather in the region has also added to concerns for Scottie’s well-being. Recent night temperatures have dipped to 34F.
In an emotional appeal to her son, Scottie’s mother said: “Scott, I love you and I want you to come home.”
Eaton police called off the search for Scottie Monday night ahead of a meeting Tuesday to decide next steps.
Scottie’s mother, Felicia Morris, said: “I know you’re angry and confused and I’m afraid you’re scared about all of this.” Everyone is looking out for you, we are not trying to scare you. You’re not in trouble.
Scottie’s mother, Felicia, at a press conference with Eaton PD Police Chief Jay Turner, who apologized after police released the photo of Scottie with his shirt painted on.
‘I know you’re angry and confused and I’m afraid you’re scared about all of this. Everyone is looking out for you, we are not trying to scare you. You’re not in trouble.
‘If you’re in a house and they come to you and you don’t want to go out because it’s the police, contact them. Dad and I will go find you. I love you and I just want you to come home. I need to know that you are safe.
Her aunt, Melissa Morris May, has also urged people to share the appeal.
Scottie is 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighs 150 pounds, and has brown hair with blue eyes.
The search operation has included infrared drones, a boat search of a nearby river and bloodhound teams. Eaton is a small town of around 1,600 people and many residents have joined search efforts in recent days.
“There has been a tremendous amount of support from the community, and we appreciate each and every one of you who has volunteered during this time,” police said.
If you have information regarding Scottie Dean Morris, please contact the Eaton Police Department at (765) 396-3297 or 911.