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A truly bizarre, but very sad story...

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  • A truly bizarre, but very sad story...

    You may have heard about this one, but in Chicago it's all over the news. Sad story about a kid that was found, which is good...but there is a lot more to the story. I lifted this from the Chicago Sun Times. Two stories to follow:

    Everyone wondered about the little boy who panhandled into the night outside a 7-Eleven in West Rogers Park.

    The boy with the filthy clothes whose pants were cinched with a plastic shopping bag.

    The boy with the rotten front teeth, the speech impediment and the foul mouth who went door to door begging for food in shoes too big for his feet.

    Eli, as the boy called himself, always seemed adrift. Now authorities think they know why.

    State and federal investigators are trying to confirm whether Eli is really Tristen Alan Myers, a 6-year-old who disappeared in October 2000 from Roseboro, N.C., where he was living with a great aunt and uncle.

    The FBI late Tuesday night questioned a man who identified himself as Eli's father and who had been living with the boy on the North Side until child welfare officials took the child into custody earlier this year, suspecting abuse.

    As he was led into an FBI van, Ricky Quick insisted he had not abducted the boy. "I did not take him from North Carolina," Quick told WMAQ-Channel 5. "I brought him up ever since he was born."

    Quick came to the attention of authorities on Feb. 3 when he brought the boy to an Evanston hospital and asked that he be evaluated for "aggressive behavior." The hospital called a state child welfare hotline after officials suspected he might be an abuse victim.

    That night, the state Department of Children and Family Services took the boy into protective custody.

    The next day, Quick, 33, was arrested on a warrant for attempting to obtain a refund for a stolen coffee maker on Dec. 9 at a Cub Foods store in Chicago. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months' supervision. Quick was not seen again until Chicago FBI officials located him at his mother's home Tuesday night and questioned him about the boy.

    Meanwhile, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was contacted when the boy could not answer simple questions about his background. The center compared the boy's picture to a database of missing children and contacted authorities in North Carolina about a potential match with Tristen.

    In April, the Sampson County, N.C., sheriff's office showed a photo of "Eli" to John and Donna Myers, the relatives who were caring for Tristen in North Carolina when he disappeared, last seen walking out the door of the family's home to play with his two dogs.

    "They thought it was a strong possibility it was him," said a family friend, Jackie Cox.

    Tristen's mother, Raven Myers, was even more confident the boy is her son. ''I think it's him,'' Myers told reporters in North Carolina. ''Just looking at the facial features, they say he's got a lisp, I've got a lisp. It's just weird."

    Laboratory Corporation of America in Burlington, N.C., will compare a blood sample taken from Tristen's mother with scrapings from Eli's mouth to see if there is a DNA match, said Sgt. Darold Cox of the Sampson County sheriff's office.

    Asked why authorities don't just fly Raven Myers to Illinois to see if she can identify him, Darold Cox said, "I am discouraging her from disrupting his life if it is not him."

    If DNA tests confirm the boy is Tristen, the FBI may consider kidnapping charges, Special Agent Ross Rice said.

    Tristen's saga began in Ocean Springs, Miss., where his mother, a 15-year-old stripper, gave birth on July 16, 1996.

    The state of Mississippi would not allow Raven Myers to take custody of the infant because she was considered a child, too.

    So her mom, Sally Myers, took custody.

    "The child was raised as her younger brother in a sense," Jackie Cox said. "She did not have any responsibility for him."

    Sally Myers became terminally ill, and little Tristen was placed in foster care. He bounced from home to home in Louisiana. Eventually, Sally Myers decided her brother John and his wife, Donna, should bring up the boy in North Carolina, and they accepted.

    John Myers, a trucker, picked up Tristen in Louisiana in a tractor-trailer. The toddler rode in the passenger seat, which is called the "buddy seat" in the business.

    Soon, little Tristen was dubbed "Buddy," and the nickname stuck.

    Growing up in North Carolina, Tristen did not see much of his mother, who lived with her father and continued to strip for a living, according to her family.

    Raven and her aunt and uncle have not been in touch very often during his disappearance and possible recovery.

    "Donna and John have not spoken to Raven in recent weeks and do not have her telephone number," Jackie Cox said. "She does not call here."

    Some of the problems seen in Tristen in North Carolina also have been seen in "Eli," according to Cox and an Illinois DCFS report.

    For instance, both appear to have some form of attention deficit disorder, and neither was able to say his ABCs or count to 10. Both also have unique scars.

    All that is left is a DNA match, which the Myerses hope will happen soon.

    "Donna lives and breathes this child," Jackie Cox said. "They love Tristen. They want him home."

    Residents of West Rogers Park, meanwhile, said they believe a better life may be ahead for the boy who had to bathe at neighbors' houses. He never went to school and some neighbors said they tried to teach him how to read.

    "The kid didn't even have underwear," said neighbor Karen Allen, 40. "This is terrible. This is terrible. I used to feed the little boy. They had no cooking gas. They had no refrigerator that worked. They had nothing."

    Several neighbors said they called the DCFS hotline, but it was unclear if the agency made any visits.

    Quick, a mechanic, was evicted from a one-bedroom basement apartment in the 2600 block of West Estes in November after a landlord complained he was not receiving rent, said Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for the Cook County sheriff's office. The apartment was filthy, sheriff's deputies reported.

    A DCFS report obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times said investigators could not confirm where Eli was born or even who his mother was. The Feb. 28 report--completed after DCFS officials were contacted by St. Francis Hospital in Evanston on Feb. 3--said Eli could not remember the last time he bathed or changed clothes, and that his socks were stuck to his feet and had to be peeled off.

    Quick told investigators he cared for Eli alone since the death of Eli's mother, Sharon Smith, in a car crash in May 2002 in Colorado that injured Quick and Eli.

    A DCFS investigator "became suspicious when Eli spoke of different mommies," Cook County Public Guardian Patrick Murphy wrote to DCFS Director Bryan Samuels in a letter Tuesday. Eli does not appear in public aid records for Quick's family in 1999 and 2000--adding to questions about the boy's background, the DCFS report said.

    Donna and John Myers have no knowledge of Raven Myers having a relationship with Quick, said Monica Caison of the Cue Center for Missing Persons in North Carolina. In fact, the Myerses had never heard of Quick.

    One thing is sure, said West Rogers Park residents who sometimes witnessed Eli tearing through their neighborhood alone on a bike at 2 a.m.

    "He's a survivor," said a neighborhood father.

    Boy abandoned after trip to Evanston hospital


    Hopeful that a 6-year-old boy living in Chicago may be a long missing child from North Carolina, authorities turned their attention Tuesday to the man who lived with the child on the North Side and claimed to be his father.

    By Tuesday night, FBI officials had located Ricky Quick at his mother's home and questioned him about the boy he called Eli. Quick was interviewed for several hours before he was released about 10:30 p.m.

    "He was not handcuffed. He is not in custody. He has not been arrested and he has not been charged with anything," FBI spokesman Ross Rice said. "He voluntarily offered to answer some questions and try to help sort out the situation regarding the young man recovered in Evanston two months ago."

    As he was led into an FBI vehicle, Quick expressed concern for the boy he claimed as his own.

    "I would like to meet him in person," he told WMAQ-Channel 5.

    Quick's mother, Julia Quick, told WMAQ her son had come to her home Monday night but he he wasn't hiding from the law. She said Quick never kidnapped Eli and the boy is Quick's stepson.

    "He had a wife, and that child was hers," Julia Quick said.

    Quick took the boy to St. Francis Hospital the night of Feb. 3, according to a DCFS report obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times. He said the boy "was aggressive with peers and adults, that he had broken windows, threatened to stab his father and started a fire," the report stated.

    But health care professionals noticed signs of possible child abuse and neglect.

    The hospital called the state's child welfare hotline at 9:15 p.m.

    At some point Quick threatened to take the boy, and the hospital called Evanston police. Officers arrested him on an outstanding theft warrant from Chicago, and he went to court the same day.

    While Quick was also suspected of child abuse, the nature of the allegations did not warrant holding him on criminal charges, DCFS officials said. In fact, they expected Quick to promptly reseek custody of the child--but they never saw him again.

    Neighbors at Quick's last-known address in the 2600 block of West Estes said he was a self-employed auto mechanic. They said he lived in an apartment with about five other adults, the boy, an older girl and possibly a baby that was not his child. Eli's hair, they said, often was dyed different colors.

    DCFS initially believed Eli's mother was Sharon Smith, who was killed in a car crash in northeast Colorado on May 3, 2002, while riding with the boy and other relatives, according to the DCFS report. But caseworker Sharon Moriarity became suspicious. Cook County Public Guardian Patrick Murphy praised her in a letter to the agency Tuesday.

    Murphy wrote that Moriarity spoke to a sister of Sharon Smith, "who informed her that she did not know that Sharon had a son."

    Workers at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children took the information Moriarty submitted and eventually matched it to Tristen Myers.

    Contributing: Rosalind Rossi

    "Live for yourself -- there's no one else more worth living for."
    --Rush, 'Anthem' on Fly by Night - 1975

  • #2
    Wow, that's messed up...

    S2KCA - The S2000 Club of America