SEMINOLE — Investigators in Seminole County still are trying to determine the fate of Colton Levi Clark, a 9-year-old boy whose adoptive parents say they last saw him April 20, 2006. He had an appointment to meet with a counselor that same day, said Seminole County Sheriff Joe Craig.
"It makes you feel hopeless,” Craig said. "You've gone out there and searched all this area and you feel like you've failed. We're talking about a 9-year-old boy. There hasn't been a night that I haven't gone to bed and seen this young man's face. I just keep thinking, ‘Why haven't we found this kid?'”
‘Someone knows something'
More than a year after Colton disappeared, leads are exhausted.
A few days after the anniversary of Colton's disappearance, a caller reported seeing a boy who looked like Colton in a local Wal-Mart, but that turned out to be another sandy-haired boy with glasses, Craig said.
The investigation remains open, but the people who might know the most about the hours leading up to Colton's disappearance have stopped talking.
Colton's adoptive parents, Rex and Rebecca Clark, initially helped investigators, saying they thought Colton ran away.
"They gave us consent to search the house; we didn't find anything unusual,” Craig said. "But what was odd to me is that they talked about Colt in the past tense — right out of the box.”
A few days later when the Clarks were asked to take a lie detector test, they refused.
Repeated phone calls from The Oklahoman
to the Clarks were unanswered and messages were not returned. The Clarks have offered a $10,000 reward for the safe return of Colton.
"My first thought is that they're trying to hide something,” Craig said. "Someone knows something and they aren't telling.”
Colton and his older brother Homer haven't had an easy life. Their biological parents battled drug and alcohol addictions throughout their lives, said Jerry Clark, the boys' grandmother, who lives in Nicoma Park.
The boys lived with relatives, including their father's sister, and attended school in the Choctaw area.
Then, they went to live with their father's brother, Rex Clark, and his wife, Rebecca Clark. While they were there, Colton disappeared.
Today, Jerry Clark, is estranged from her son, Rex Clark, and his wife. They haven't communicated since Colton's disappearance.
But problems between them date back further, to when Rebecca Clark told authorities and the media the boys had been molested by other family members.
"They weren't abused, they were just poor little neglected boys,” Jerry Clark said, rebutting those allegations. "There's nothing wrong with those boys. I know they were not abused when they were up here. We all helped with them.”
At one point, Homer accused his family members, including his grandfather and older sister, of molesting him, but family members took lie detector tests and no charges were ever filed, said the boys' older sister, Raven Womack, 25, of Newalla.
Family members said they lost contact with the boys after Colton and Homer, who changed his name from Austin, moved in with Rex and Rebecca Clark.