Indiana police say they have suspended the public searches for Scottie Morris, a missing 14-year-old who vanished last week after an argument with family.
According to Eaton Deputy Police Chief Chris Liggett, the department plans to discuss the next steps in Scottie’s disappearance with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, local agencies, and the Indiana State Police.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the Indiana State Police issued a statewide Silver Alert Friday for Scottie Morris, who was last seen around 8:30 p.m. Thursday in Eaton, where he lives. There was some sort of conflict in the home before he disappeared, according to Eaton police.
“It was over punishment,” Eaton Police Chief Jay Turner said. “And I think it was just a normal mom and son argument and he walked away.”
Search parties, including volunteers, emergency responders, and law enforcement searched throughout Eaton and the surrounding areas over the weekend, while school officials with the Delaware Community Schools provided busses and transport searches on Monday, Star Press reports.
Turner said police have not had any previous dealings with Scottie or his family, adding that Delta Middle School staff called him a “very nice young man.”
Meanwhile, Fox 59 reports that Turner said while “checked everywhere we could possibly think of,” the Department of Natural Resources will check local rivers and ponds for “due diligence.”
“To search anything else would kind of be redundant because we’ve searched everything more than twice,” he said.
“I need to know that you’re safe. Please just call 911, tell anyone,” the child’s mother, Felicia Morris, said Monday. “I need you home. I just need you home, OK? And I love you so much.”
Turner added that Felicia has been cooperative in the investigation.
A photo was taken of Scottie on the day he vanished, with words scribbled on the front of his white T-shirt. “I’m a liar” and “cheat,” among other words, were written with what appears to be a black marker.
Police shared the image shortly after Scottie’s disappearance but have since censored the image after social media complaints.
“That was the ONLY photo that EPD was given to display and was quickly posted in an effort to help find Scottie ASAP. EPD Officers came in on their own time to search for Scottie Morris, and are still working hard to find him,” Eaton police said on Facebook.
“We are very sorry the post seemed as if we were trying to shame him in anyway, as that would NEVER be our intent.”
There were also concerns about Scottie’s hair. In the same photo, his hair had been shaved, but Turner said the haircut was not a form of punishment.
“I will say, the shaved head was his idea, they went to Great Clips and it’s what he told them he wanted,” Turner said. “But, the shirt, it was quite unorthodox, kind of disturbing and we’re looking into that.”
Scottie is described as a white male who stands 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs approximately 150 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes. Along with the white T-shirt, he was wearing black and red shorts, and black shoes when he disappeared.
Anyone with information on Scottie’s whereabouts is urged to call the Eaton Police Department at 765-396-3297 or 911.
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[Feature Photo: Scottie Morris/Police Handout]