News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012
AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. -- Ray Grice of Aiken has seen his son, Jeremy, grow up over the years. He has photos from when Jeremy was just 3 and 4 years old. He also has two from when Jeremy was 24 years old and 29, too.
However, the latter two portraits of a smiling Jeremy weren’t taken with a camera. They're just a guess of what Jeremy could look like. He went missing in 1985 when he was just 4 years old.
"I've never felt to this day that he's dead. I mean, it's always just been to me that he's out there somewhere,” Grice said.
Grice has spent 27 years -- half of his life -- searching for a son and answers he has yet to find.
"I still, you know, pray every day that, you know, someone will come through that knows something, you know, about it, because there's somebody out there that knows exactly what happened,” he said, holding back his emotions.
Thanksgiving Day marks the 27th anniversary of Jeremy's disappearance. He was last seen by a neighbor outside his mobile home near Beech Island. They say he was standing near a mailbox wearing pajamas and waiting for a bus, even though he didn't have school that day.
Grice got the call from his wife, Donna, when she realized their son was gone.
"I got in the truck and drove over to her house and all, and she was in the yard, and the first thing I asked her was, 'Have you called the police?' She said no. I said, 'Well, that should have been the first thing call you made,'" he said.
Deputies arrived and searched for days. A pond nearby was drained and divers even searched Langley Pond after a tip from a psychic. All of that revealed nothing.
"Put your faith in God that things will work out. Like I said, whoever's responsible, their judgment day will come,” Grice said.
Grice says his son could have been kidnapped and raised somewhere else, forgetting his real family since he was still so young.
However, Grice still embraces the belief that his son is still alive -- 27 years after the search began.
The Aiken County Sheriff's Office tells News 12 that an investigator is assigned to this case, so it is still open. Grice says the last serious lead he knows of was in the late 80s and that he hasn't heard from the Sheriff's Office in years.
If you have any tips, call the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.