Missing: Oct 5, 2000
Missing from:Roseboro,North Carolina
DOB: Jul 16, 1996
Weight: 38 lbs
Circumstances of Disappearance:
He was last seen walking near his home and may have been walking with a tan Chihuahua and a black Doberman. The dogs were subsequently located. At the time of his disappearance, Tristen was wearing a black T-shirt, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes. He has a scar on the left side of his neck. His full name is Tristen Alan Myers but he uses the nickname “Buddy”. He may be in need of medical attention.
Sampson County Sheriff’s Office
Forgotten yellow ribbons
The yellow ribbons are long forgotten now.
There might be a thread or two left to remind the world of Tristen Myers,
the little boy we call Buddy, but I didn’t see anything when last I drove
through Roseboro. Perhaps there is a darker streak on a utility pole, or a
thin place on the bark of a tree, where someone tied a yellow ribbon for a
little boy who disappeared. If there was, I didn’t see it.
Buddy was just a little kid who never seemed to get a break; I won’t go into
his life before he went to live with his Great Aunt Donna, but let’s just
say it was unstable at best. His eyes stare out from the missing poster
bearing his name. In the photo, he is patiently waiting awaiting the moment
Dad says it’s time to go fishing.
Buddy disappeared – there is no other word – on Oct. 5, 2000. His great aunt laid down to take a nap, while she thought Buddy, too, was asleep.
Sometime that afternoon the four-year-old left Donna’s house on Microwave Tower Road southwest of Roseboro. He took his two dogs with him. The dogs came home several days later.
Buddy still hasn’t.
Miss Rhonda and I were nearly asleep when my editor called that night. It
was 11 p.m., and he didn’t know who else to send. It was the beginning of
three long days and nights of mosquitoes and woods paths and rumors and
I am ashamed to admit I almost forgot Buddy this year; of course, his name
is one of the list of those we remember nightly in our prayers, along with
Alice Donovan, Britannee Drexell, and Michelle Bullard.
Michelle and Alice were found; Britannee’s family is still searching, as are
hundreds, if not thousands of other families.
But the one who started it all, the one who dragged me across the line
between objectivity and emotion, the one who really helped me learn that we in the news business are writing about people, not just things – that one
I was there throughout the active search for the little boy who loved
horses, NASCAR, and his great-uncle’s eighteen-wheeler. I was there when
the helicopter pilot spotted something in his infrared camera, and a
thousand collective breaths were held until he radioed back that it was the
body of a hunting hound, not a little boy. I was there when the volunteer
count topped 1,000, as people from a dozen and a half states came to North
Carolina to help find a little boy none of them knew. I was there when a
loud, bossy woman came up and introduced herself to the law officers as
being from the CUE Center for Missing Persons.
That lady was Monica Caison; we are still friends, even though I’ve written
hundreds of other stories since that humid October night, and she’s searched for hundreds more lost sons and daughters, mothers and fathers. When I last spoke to Monica, she was searching for the remains of a young woman named Samantha Burns. They are yet another family waits and hopes.
I don’t know if Monica had a spare second to remember Buddy on Oct. 5; were she to take a moment for every lost person on the day they disappeared, she wouldn’t have time to keep hunting for those lost folks.
I can’t imagine Monica’s dreams; I hope that she sleeps well, knowing in
her heart that she isn’t stopping her efforts to remind everyone that every
lost person is someone’s child. She remembers them, even when she can’t take the time to stop and cry.
I will admit, I never met Buddy, but I got to know him much better in the
months and weeks after he disappeared. I can’t believe that he would be
13 now; if his smile stayed the same, he would likely be the target of many
a giggling girl’s affection. Maybe he would have played baseball this
summer, and maybe he would be on a JV football team right now. He was little enough that there’s no doubt in my mind he went to Heaven if he died; that’s what happens to the littlest kids when they go away, of that I am sure.
The Lord comforts children, no matter what they’re going through; we adults just have a bad habit of ignoring His comfort as we grow up.
I write this column every year, in part to remember Buddy, in part for my
friend Monica, but mainly for the folks out there who don’t give up, the
ones who still, after all these years, tack “MISSING” posters on utility
poles and bulletin boards in stores and gas stations. Some of them write
letters to me every once in a while. I treasure those letters, and pray for
And we still pray every night for their lost loved ones.
The yellow ribbons are forgotten now, frayed and lost to time and rain and
wind and sun. The yellow ribbons may be frayed and forgotten, but they
still bind the people who cry in the night to those they pray to someday see
” By Jefferson Weaver”-