A missing 14-year-old boy, who was last seen wearing a strange T-shirt and fearing he was in extreme danger, was “excited and stomping” just before he disappeared, says a local teacher who helped find him.
Scottie Dean Morris has been missing since around 8:30 p.m. Thursday after leaving his family home in the small town of Eaton, Indiana, in a white T-shirt and black basketball shorts.
Extensive searches have been conducted by law enforcement and concerned volunteers from the close-knit community, but no trace of the young teenager has been found so far.
Chynia Cain, 24, who has organized candlelight vigils for Scottie at her local church, told The US Sun that the boy’s family is completely “broken” and the town of around 1,600 is trying to rally around her to help to support them.
“My heart must be sad,” Cain said. “I’m a teacher and a mother of three and all I can think about is his poor family and everything they’re going through right now and everything that’s going through their minds.
“I spoke to you [Scottie’s] grandma and mother. They’re all broken, they’re all mourning; They just want their boy to come home.
“There’s a lot of pain in their homes right now.”
In her communication with Scottie’s mother, Cain said she told her that Scottie was very upset before he disappeared, although it’s unclear why.
Police shared a picture of the missing teenager, in which he was visibly upset and wearing a white T-shirt with the words “I’m a liar” and “I hurt my brother” written on it.
The reason Scottie is wearing the t-shirt has not been disclosed, although it is the same t-shirt he left his family home in.
“All I know is [Scottie’s] Mom said he was very upset and was stomping,” Cain said.
“But it’s one of those things where we all know as humans how strong our feelings can be at times.
“I don’t know why he wore [the t-shirt] but my take on that is whether it was a form of parenting or not, as a parent […] There is always a time when you can make a mistake.
“There’s always a time when you can discipline in a way you never thought you’d ever have to do.
“And I look at it and I think of John 8:8, ‘The man without sin can cast the first stone.’
“I’m not here to judge, I’m not here to look at this and think about anything other than the fact that this boy needs to be found.
“That’s all that matters at the moment.”
Scottie was last seen walking east on Indiana Avenue near Mar Fran Court, police said.
Investigators began searching for the boy Thursday night and issued a missing persons alert the next morning.
“He is believed to be in extreme danger and may require medical attention,” the Silver Alert statement said.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources used two boats to search for Morris in a nearby river, and local police have used two infrared drones to search for Scottie from above.
Two bloodhound teams have also been deployed, and more than 100 volunteer searchers have scoured the area, searching attics, sheds and abandoned buildings.
Search efforts continued throughout Monday, but no breakthrough has been found so far.
There is an “urgent” urgency to find Scottie as soon as possible, Cain says, as the boy left home in inadequate clothing to deal with the cold weather currently plaguing the Eaton area.
“It’s bad,” she repeated. “On Saturday a lot of us woke up to snow and the ground and it was really hard to see knowing we hadn’t found it yet.
“We left his home, he was wearing a white t-shirt and black and red basketball shorts.
“I’m just praying to God he’s covered and in as many layers as possible, or that he’s warm in someone’s house somewhere.”
‘YOU ARE LOVED’
Fear for Scottie’s safety and the urgency to find him is palpable in the local community, Cain says.
She said everyone in the local community is looking for him in some way, whether it’s being extra vigilant when driving to the store or physically wading in ditches and brushwood.
“We’re all looking,” she said. “We look out of our cars, we look around and in ditches and just hope we can find Scotty.
“We had search parties on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and again today […] we did as much as we could.”
Cain and other members of Grace and Mercy Gospel Church have hosted a candlelight vigil for Scottie and his family for the past three days.
At the ceremony, they lit about 100 candles in the church in hopes that “God will show the way to Scottie,” she said.
Cain added that Scottie’s family has the full support of the local community and if they ever needed anything – be it a meal or a shoulder to cry on – everyone was there for them.
Addressing Scottie directly, she added, “Scottie, there were so many individuals, hundreds of people in our community here to love you and open our arms to you.
“There are people you may not even know stepping out and walking around trying to find you to make sure you are safe.
“We just want you to be found and to know that you are loved in every way possible.”
Police conducted polygraph tests on Morris’ parents and said they were “looking elsewhere” when he disappeared, the Star Press reported.
Speaking to local media on Monday, Morris’ mother told WTHR-TV: “Scott, I love you and I want you to come home. And I know you’re angry and confused.
“I need to know you’re safe, please just call 911, just tell anyone.”
Police urged residents with doorbell or surveillance cameras on Sunday to review their recordings in a Facebook post.
They have also addressed Scottie directly numerous times in press releases and during press conferences.
Speaking to the same network as Scottie’s mother, local police chief Jay Turner said: “I want this young man to know that we’re not here to make sure he’s in trouble. We want to help him and make sure he’s safe
“We took this seriously from the start and will continue the investigation until we find him,” he added.
Scottie is described as five feet four inches tall, weighs 150 pounds with short brown hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with information that could lead to his recovery is asked to contact the Eaton Police Department at (765) 396-3297.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7678600/scottie-morris-missing-search-angry-dire-hunt-tshirt/ A Scottie Morris insider reveals the boy’s final moves and says the family is broken as she reveals details about the “somber” hunt