We read and hear about missing children all over the world. It seems to me that here lately we hear about even more cases than we use to 20 years ago. 45 years ago it was safe for a 10 year old to walk on the streets to go two blocks or so to the corner grocery store to buy their favorite candy with their weekly allowance. Unfortunately though, it isn’t so safe anymore.

Seventeen years ago Andrea Parsons was 10 years old. On July 11, 1993 she went to the neighborhood store which was about two blocks from home to buy candy and chips. Little Andrea was never seen since then. What ever happened to her? No one seems to know.

I have looked long and hard for reports about her disappearance but they are not so easy to find but I did find one from tcpalm.com that gives some information about the day that Andrea went to Bucky’s Port Salerno Grocery. It is reported that at 6:10 pm she was seen walking home waving to some people she knew in a car that passed by.

Her disappearance hit the national news and local detectives even appeared on John Walsh’s “America’s Most Wanted”.  Three days after she disappeared, the investigators received what they thought would be a major break in the case.

Claude Davis, a neighbor that lived across the street told police that he saw four Hispanic men grab Andrea but later Davis changed his story saying he had dreamed that he was in Phipps Park collecting cans with Andrea and she fell and hit her head. Davis went on to say he got scared so he put her body in a trash bin. The waters were searched by divers, even by using sonar equipment and cadaver dogs but nothing. They searched the local landfill for weeks and could never find any sign of Andrea’s body.

Davis was arrested and charged with false imprisonment but the charges were dropped on May of 1994. They said they had to let him go due to lack of evidence. In June 1999 Davis was charged for violation of his probation when he contacted a girl that he has been convicted of molesting in 1993.  Detectives hoped Davis would tell them more of what he knew about Andrea in exchange for leniency in that case but he never told anything so he went to jail and served about 4 years in prison.

“He is like a tree in the middle of the road,” said Martin County Sheriff’s Office Lt. John Silvas. “We can’t clear him and we can’t charge him.”

Now after 17 years the neighbor, Davis, who is 73 years old claims he never was involved with Andrea’s disappearance and knows nothing about where she or her body could be found.

Davis told the detectives that he was actually at the park picking up cans when he saw Andrea kicking at her alleged abductors before they put her in the back seat of a maroon-colored four-door Oldsmobile. He claims he didn’t intervene because he was afraid that he would get hurt.  “Maybe I should have followed the car,” said Davis. “That’s the only thing now I wished I had done.”

If what he says is true he should have spoken up at the time and then maybe the police would have been able to find Andrea. Instead Andrea’s mother, Linda Parsons is left to only imagine what happened to her daughter after all these years.

My heart goes out to Linda Parsons. The last time she saw her daughter was earlier that afternoon Andrea gave her a kiss good-bye when she was leaving to go to work at Winn-Dixie. Since then Linda has been working different part-time jobs and has been living with various relatives. “I haven’t been able to find a home again since that happened,” she said. “I’m still stuck in 1993”.

Silvas is determined top always check out any lead that comes in. Having children of his own he can visualize what one would feel like to lose someone in cases such as this.

I located a site, that has Andreas picture along with a age-progressed photo of what she might look like at the age of 23.  If anyone has seen this girl who now would be 27 years old missing from Port Salerno, Florida, please contact National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST) or contact the Martin County Sheriff’s Office (Florida) – 1-772-220-7170.

Andrea at the age of 10 when she disappeared in 1993.

This is an age progressed guess of what she may look like now.

It has to be hard just not knowing. I have covered several missing children stories on BNN. After so long it feels like they have gone forgotten when no leads come in and you are at the end of the road with the investigation. Just remembering their names, not letting them fade away could help one day in finding them. I remember 6 year old Adji Desir, who disappeared on January 10, 2009 and 5 year old Haleigh Cummings, who disappeared on February 10, 2009. Sadly all three of these children are from Florida and there are others from all over that have never been found. They all need to be found and brought home.

My prayers go out to Linda Parsons. I can’t even begin to imagine what she has been through the past 17 years not knowing where her daughter is or what happened to her. She hasn’t given up though. “I’m just trying to survive,” she said. “I still have hope that she’s alive. I’m not going to think otherwise because there’s no proof of it.” Linda I can’t say that I blame you for that. Not too many mothers out here would be able to give up either, no matter how many years ago it had been. God bless you!

Jan Barrett

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