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This afternoon, I checked in with Jackie Van Croft. On January 31, her son William went missing. He’s still missing. William has Asperger’s Syndrome. He disappeared on the one-year anniversary of his father’s death.
“The police are working on all leads,” Van Croft says. “They have been getting tips, people have been calling in the tip line. They are responding to all leads. His case has not been forgotten. I know it seems like — I don’t know what other family members do, I’m trying to do what I can to protect my son.”
It’s hard to protect a missing son. “My son has been through a great deal and the family has been through a lot,” Van Croft says. “It’s really difficult to think about him being out there and not have the family to protect him. He had a mentor/therapist. He had lots of therapists. And of those people were there to help him grow. And help him to become a whole person, a wonderful person. Now, he’s out there.”
I ask Van Croft what a normal day is like now. “I just try to work,” she explains. “I still cook in a large quantity because I expect him to be coming in. I tend to pick up his favorite foods….Fridays are still devoted to wrestling. So are Mondays. Fridays are wrestling night and pizza.”
Today, Van Croft called her son’s school just to check in. “I try to give updates,” she says. “The kids are worried and they want their classmate back. I wanted to assure them that I feel he’s coming back.”
Van Croft drives by the places her son was last seen. She has two daughters. The youngest came home a few weeks ago with a tip. “A classmate thought he saw Billy on the bus,” Van Croft recalls, adding that her daughter had instructions on what to do with this tip: “Make sure you tell the police.”
“We’re keeping strong,” Van Croft says. “There have been some really good tips and we’re pushing forward. I will let you know when Billy comes home.”
*For more information on this case, you can check out the D.C. Police Department‘s press release.