MIAMI – Investigators have renewed their search for a 2-year-old boy whose mother committed suicide days after reporting him missing, saying he may still be alive, authorities said Tuesday.
A witness said she saw Trenton Duckett with his mother, Melinda Duckett, hours before his reported disappearance, said Capt. Jimmy Pogue of the Marion County Sheriff's Office. Investigators have not clearly determined the mother's whereabouts in the 24 hours or so before the boy went missing.
Melinda Duckett reported her son missing Aug. 27, telling police she found a cut in his bedroom window screen when she checked on him around 9:20 p.m. Melinda Duckett committed suicide Sept. 8.
Melinda Duckett remains the primary suspect, Pogue said.
"He could still be alive, and we need people to start looking for him and stop assuming he's passed away and that we're not looking for him," Pogue said.
The witness reported seeing Melinda Duckett with the boy at a restaurant in Belleview on Aug. 27, Pogue said.
"She believes she saw Melinda and the baby during the time that Trenton is unaccounted for," he said.
More details will be released Wednesday, Pogue said.
Trenton's father, Joshua Duckett, said investigators now share his belief that his son is alive. He also declined Tuesday to release new information about the investigation.
"They're just going on the same theory I've been going on," he said. "I'm still 100 percent confident he's alive and well. It's just a matter of finding him."