Missing boy's family awaits DNA test results
Man who brought child to hospital arrested
ROSEBORO, North Carolina (CNN) -- The family of a missing North Carolina boy last seen two and a half years ago was nervously awaiting DNA results Monday on a boy found almost three months ago in Chicago, Illinois, who does not remember who he is.
Tristen "Buddy" Myers was 4 when he walked away from his great aunt and uncle's home in Roseboro, east of Fayetteville, in October 2000. He has not been seen since.
On February 3, a man walked into a hospital in Evanston with a young boy in tow who he said was his son. The man said he wanted the boy evaluated for "aggressive behavior," said Jill Manuel of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
Hospital workers saw that the boy, between 6 and 8 years old, "obviously had not bathed or changed clothes in days," Manuel said. The man also threatened to leave the child at the hospital, prompting workers to report him to a DCFS hotline.
Police found a warrant for the man's arrest on a retail theft charge. He was taken into custody, and the boy was placed in a foster home, Manuel said.
Social workers soon found that the boy could not name family members or give his birth date. The alleged father had given the boy's name as Eli Quick, but there were no records under that name, Manuel said.
"Our suspicion was all may not be as it should be," she said.
The social workers then called the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children [NCMEC], which matched up the boy's photograph with a picture of Buddy Myers, who would now be 6 years old.
"The family has seen the pictures of this child in question," said Jackie Cox, a spokeswoman for the boy's great aunt and uncle. "It's such a strong resemblance."
Cox said a DNA test was conducted on Buddy's mother two weeks ago, and Buddy's DNA was tested last week.
"We're just sitting back, waiting for the DNA of this child," Cox said.
Police in Chicago and Sampson County, North Carolina, were not available for comment Monday evening.
According to the NCMEC's Web site, Buddy has blond hair and blue eyes and a scar on the side of his neck. He would be 6 years old. Cox said he has a speech impediment that makes it hard for him to pronounce certain words.
Manuel said she did not know whether the boy in Chicago had a scar or speech impediment.
In the meantime, the alleged father was released from custody and has vanished, Manuel said.
"We have never been able to question him again," she said.
She said it does not appear that the man had a history of crimes involving children.
Buddy's mother was a juvenile when she gave birth, which made her ineligible for custody under North Carolina law, Cox said. The mother's parents took custody of Buddy but had to give him up when his grandmother became terminally ill.
The grandparents gave Buddy to the grandfather's brother and sister-in-law, John and Donna Myers, and they were in the process of adopting the boy when he disappeared, Cox said.
She said Donna Myers and Buddy watched a videotape the afternoon that the boy disappeared.
"Tristen kind of fell asleep, and she took a short nap," Cox said. "When she awakened, he was gone."