Missing Kids Mysteries: Jeremy Grice - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Missing Kids Mysteries: Jeremy Grice

Grice circa '85 (L), time lapse photo Grice circa '85 (L), time lapse photo

(Aiken) May 17, 2005 - They say time heals, but as the days go by, the pain doesn't get any better for two Aiken parents. Donna Smith and Ray Grice have spent the last twenty years searching for their son.

Donna still can't believe her son has been gone so long, "I would have never believed that it would have lasted this long. I'm waiting for him to come home."

One morning in 1985, Smith awoke to find her son Jeremy missing from their Aiken County home, "It drives you crazy and you think about it everyday and you wonder, who or why or who took him, why they had taken him. I just don't know."

The morning Jeremy was discovered missing, it was cold and raining. A neighbor reported seeing the boy standing where a mailbox once stood next to Jeremy's house. The neighbor said the boy appeared to be barefoot and waiting for a bus. The odd thing is, Jeremy didn't have school that day.

Ray believes the answers are in that neighborhood, "I feel somebody deliberately took him, whether it was that morning, the evening before, whatever, I don't feel that he wandered off."

Captain Wallace Owens of the Aiken County Sheriff's Department says hundreds of volunteers searched the woods and lakes around the area, but found no sign of the little boy, "We know he did not just vanish into thin air."

Owens is the lead investigator in the case. He says they're short on clues and there's never been a crime scene or a suspect, "I think you'd be naïve if you didn't think some type of foul play wasn't involved in it, because he would be old enough now to move around on his own."

Jeremy would have turned 24 this month. His mother still pictures him as a four-year-old, "He loved to ride his four wheeler and he'd put on his football helmet and ride it. That was one of my fondest memories of him."

Now she can see her son as a young man in an age-progressed photo, "I hope through this and by his picture, maybe he'll remember himself and remember us, remember his family and we still love him and we're looking for him and we always will, till we find him."

It's already been a long and fruitless search. Over the years, hundreds of leads on the case have come in, but none have panned out. A psychic said in 1995 that dive teams would find the boy's remains in a pond. The search turned up nothing.

Owens says a decade later, investigators aren't any closer to solving the case, "I think it's gonna be real hard and the reason I say that, just being realistic, is that so much time has went by in this case."

Ray says through all the discouraging days, months and years, the grieving family continues to look to the future, "I believe he's alive somewhere. He may not even be in the country, but I believe he's alive somewhere." Donna remains convinced her son will come home one day, "It's gonna be a glorious day. It's gonna be really wonderful. It's gonna be a miracle. God is gonna show us a miracle when he comes home."

The whole family came together when News 10 met for the interview in Aiken. Jeremy's sister, his Nana, his aunts and uncles were all there. The parents are just hoping that maybe by telling their story, even 20 years later, someone will remember something and come forward to help find their son.

By Angie Goff
Posted 6:44pm by BrettWitt

Powered by WorldNow