Scottie Dean Morris of Eaton, Indiana, still missing. Here's what we know
Search parties are looking for a missing 14-year-old boy in Delaware County.
Scottie Dean Morris, 14, left his family's home in Eaton about 8:30 p.m. March 16, 2023, and has not been seen since.
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Here is what we know about the search for the missing boy:
Photo shows Scottie Dean Morris wearing shirt with writing before disappearance
The teen had apparently been in conflict with adults at his home on Thursday, and after the disappearance, Eaton police at first posted a photo online — reportedly taken earlier that day — that showed the youth looking unhappy and wearing a shirt that had words scrawled on it, referring to the boy as a liar.
The photo was later cropped to no longer show the wording on the shirt. Eaton Police Chief Jay Turner said the photo had been posted quickly because of concerns for the boy's safety, given that he was last seen wearing shorts and a T-shirt on an especially cold evening.
THE LATEST:Search for Scottie Morris stops as police run out of places to look
Turner said his department has had no previous dealings with Morris, who the chief said was described as a "very nice young man" by those who know him, including staff at Delta Middle School.
Where is Eaton, Indiana?
Eaton is about an hour and 15 minutes northeast of Indianapolis.
What does Scottie Dean Morris look like?
A statewide Silver Alert for Scottie Morris was issued at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 17, 2023.
He is described as 5 feet 4 inches tall, 150 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes, and was last seen wearing black shoes, red and black shorts and a white T-shirt with writing on the front. Morris is a student at Delta Middle School in Delaware County, Indiana.
Morris is "believed to be in extreme danger and may require medical assistance," according to a news release from Indiana State Police.
Who should I contact with information on the disappearance?
Anyone with information is asked to call the Eaton Police Department at 765-396-3297 or 911.
When and where did search parties look for Scottie Dean Morris?
Search parties — made up of both law enforcement professionals, emergency responders and volunteers — combed the area around Eaton, a town of about 1,500 residents 9 miles north of Muncie, on both Friday and Saturday.
"It's unbelievable the way the community has come together," Turner said, referring both to the searches and efforts by others to support those looking for the teen.
Officials with Delaware Community Schools were on hand with Eaton police on Monday and provided school buses to transport searchers.
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The on-the-ground search efforts were temporarily halted Sunday to allow Indiana State Police troopers in helicopters to scan the area using infrared cameras.
The search resumed Monday in areas including near the iron bridge east of the unincorporated community of Granville, and near other bridges along Eaton-Wheeling Pike. Officers with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources also searched along the Mississinewa River near Eaton.
The searches were not being randomly conducted, Turner said. The Delaware County Emergency Management Agency has helped set up "professional grid searches."
On Monday night, March 20, Eaton's police chief said in a live Facebook video that the search would end. He said police, emergency responders and volunteers had simply run out of logical places to look for the missing youth.
On the department's Facebook page, police later clarified that although the volunteer search had ended, they are still searching for Scottie Morris.
Are Scottie Morris' parents suspects in his disappearance?
Asked whether the boy's parents were considered suspects in his disappearance, Turner said, "We've done polygraph tests and we're looking elsewhere."
One hope is that the teenager might be staying in a local home. Del-Com schools are on spring break and some families are out of town on vacation, Turner said.
Timeline in the disappearance of Scottie Morris
March 16: Morris left his family’s home around 8:30 p.m. and has not been seen since. He had apparently been in conflict with adults in the home.
March 17: A statewide silver alert was issued for Morris at 7:30 p.m. A news release from Indiana State Police stated he “is believed to be in extreme danger and may require medical assistance.”
March 17-18: Law enforcement professionals, emergency responders and volunteers combed the area around Eaton looking for the missing boy.
March 19: The on-the-ground search efforts were temporarily halted to allow Indiana State Police troopers in helicopters to scan the area using infrared cameras.
March 20: Searches for the missing boy continued in areas including near the iron bridge east of the unincorporated community of Granville, and near other bridges along Eaton-Wheeling Pike. Officers with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources were also going to search areas of the Mississinewa River.
March 23: Vigil planned by area churches scheduled for 7 p.m. at 301 E. Harris St. in Eaton.
Vigil in Eaton, Indiana:Community lights candles, prays for missing teen's safe return
Douglas Walker is a news reporter at The Star Press. Contact him at 765-213-5851 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. IndyStar reporter Jake Allen and IndyStar Producer Jenny Porter Tilley contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Scottie Dean Morris missing: Investigation underway in Eaton, Indiana