LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — A family is still fighting for answers, 14-years after the disappearance of a 2-year-old boy in Lake County, Florida. His mother reported 2-year-old Trenton Duckett missing from his Leesburg home, never to be seen again.
Investigators with Leesburg Police are now following up on a new tip that is giving this family renewed hope, that one day we may finally know what happened to Trenton Duckett.
What You Need To Know
- Investigators found cut in screen of child's bedroom window
- His mother, Melinda, took her own life
- Leesburg police won't reveal details about new tip in case
- Grandmother said she believes he will be found
On the walls of the Eubank home outside Buffalo, New York is a story.
“Mindy made this when she was in the fourth grade,” Beth Eubank said.
The story is about a mother and a grandmother, Beth Eubank.
What the pictures on those walls won’t tell you is a family story shrouded in darkness.
“I will never give up looking for him,” Beth Eubank said.
Her family’s world unraveled in an instant 14 years ago.
“He was 2 years old when he was taken,” Eubank said. “He doesn’t know he’s missing.”
Her adopted daughter’s son, Trenton Duckett, disappeared.
In the years following Duckett's disappearance, Eubank and her husband, Trenton's grandfather, have become heavily involved with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. The organization is geared toward helping children reported missing find their way home and serves as a support group for families.
Her former son-in-law, Joshua Duckett, lives 1,100 miles away and has found his own path forward.
“The biggest thing is to keep fighting for the cause and to bring him home,” Josh Duckett said.
Shortly after losing his son, tragedy struck again.
“I was 20-years-old, and the girl I dated all the way through high school, had a kid with, was married to, and lived with had just committed suicide,” Josh Duckett said.
Joshua’s wife Melinda, also Beth’s daughter, took her own life.
“She loved Trenton very much," Beth Eubank said. "She was not the monster the media smashed and bashed out to be.”
The questions have followed — Why did this happen? And who’s responsible? – have not yet been answered.
The story starts back in August 2006 with a 911 call.
Operator: “How long has he been gone?”
Melinda: “I don’t know”
Operator: “You don’t know…”
Melinda: “I don’t know. I was watching a movie that was 2 hours long.”
Melinda Duckett reported her son missing from their Leesburg apartment.
Investigators found a cut in the screen of Trenton’s bedroom window.
Questions linger, adding to the mystery — What happened to Trenton? Was his mother holding the answers?
“I don’t feel she had anything to do with his abduction,” Beth Eubank said. “I don’t think she did anything to him. I think he is out there somewhere.”
Now, a new tip gives fresh hope for the family of resolving the mystery. A person who lived in the area at the time Trenton went missing has come forward with new information. Capt. Joe Iozzi with Leesburg Police would not disclose details but said time, in this case, may prove helpful.
“There has been a lot of technological advances in investigative work to date,” Iozzi said.
Advances that, Joshua and Beth hope, will help uncover an unturned stone and bring Trenton back home.
“We are not going to give up hope, and we hope that nobody else does either,” Josh Duckett said.
“We will bring Trenton home someday,” Beth Eubank said.
Leesburg Police released an age progression photo of what Trenton may look like today.
Anyone with information that may help solve this case is asked to call 352-787-2121.