Sunday, August 26, 2007

Florida Cops Rule Out Theories, Narrow Search for Missing Toddler Trenton Duckett


A central Florida toddler missing for almost a year was not abducted by a stranger and was not handed off to someone else by his mother, who killed herself as authorities focused on her as a suspect in the disappearance, detectives said Tuesday.

The fate of Trenton Duckett, whose third birthday was Friday, remains unclear, Leesburg police Maj. Steve Rockefeller said. There have been no confirmed sightings of Trenton since he left his great grandparents house Aug. 26, 2006.

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His mother, 21-year-old Melinda Duckett, reported him missing a day later.

"We're still looking," Rockefeller said. "Our primary mission is to bring him home."

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Detectives on Tuesday released photos of toys, birthday cards, photos and children's food they believe Duckett threw in the trash after reporting Trenton missing. Duckett, who killed herself Sept. 8, is the only suspect in the toddler's disappearance, Rockefeller said.

He said detectives ruled out theories that Trenton was taken by a stranger or that Duckett handed Trenton off to a friend or relative to keep him from his father, 22-year-old Joshua Duckett. The Ducketts were separated when Trenton vanished.

Melinda Duckett fatally shot herself shortly after intense questioning by CNN talk-show host Nancy Grace. Her family is suing Grace and the network, alleging the host's intense questioning caused severe emotional distress that led to the suicide on the day the taped interview aired. CNN and Grace have asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit.

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