Photo of bound boy still a mystery
DILLON – In August 2001, a couple visiting Summit County found a photo lying face-down in the parking lot of Dillon’s City Market. They turned over the photo to discover the image of a young boy, maybe 8 or 9 years old, lying in foliage with his ankles and wrists bound with duct tape.
Dillon Police Sgt. Wendy Kipple began an investigation hoping to determine the boy’s identity, where the picture was taken and who could have taken it. She initially was encouraged by voluminous responses and tips – callers inundated her with leads, and tips were coming from Denver, Colorado Springs and as far away as Clearwater, Fla.
Kipple had the challenging task of sorting out the good leads from the bogus, but she believed she was making headway. And then terrorists attacked the United States and people’s attention shifted.
“I had a lot of interest from TV shows, “America’s Most Wanted’ and things like that,” Kipple said. “After Sept. 11, obviously, they had other things to think about. But even since then, I’ve tried to call them back to see if they could still do something. They don’t seem to be interested anymore.”
Despite the volume of tips, the investigation gained little ground, Kipple said. Her efforts included blowing up the photo to life size to look for minute clues and consulting with forensic experts from Necro Search International, a nonprofit group that uses geologists, anthropologists and people from other diverse fields to help locate missing people and solve crimes.
A police department in Clearwater, Fla., contacted Kipple suspecting that a boy missing from that community since September 2000 might be the same one in the photo. But after showing the photo to the Florida family, police determined it was not the same boy. Other leads panned out similarly, Kipple said.
“I’ve done what I can at this point,” Kipple said. “Without any new information, we’re stuck with nowhere else to go.”
Reid Williams can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 237 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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