Sunday, August 26, 2007

Trashed Pictures Released In Duckett Case

POSTED: 3:35 pm EDT August 21, 2007
UPDATED: 11:09 am EDT August 22, 2007

LEESBURG, Fla. -- Several months ago, investigators went through the trash of Trenton's mother, trying to get clues about what might have happened to the 2-year-old.

Photos found in the trash were released Tuesday that show things like toys and baby pictures -- things many said a mom waiting for her son to be returned to her would not throw away.

She has since taken her own life, and remains the prime suspect in his disappearance.

Not quite a year since Trenton disappeared, police wanted the community to know they still need help -- they also wanted to announce what they’ve ruled out.

"Evidence does not support an abduction. Signs of staging were too overpowering," Maj. Steve Rockefeller of the Leesburg Police Dept. said.

Abduction was the theory thrown out by Trenton's mom. She said a screen on his bedroom had been cut.

Police said the screen may have been cut for their benefit.

"These are the things that that raised an alarm for our investigators," Rockefeller said.

"Melinda Duckett is our prime suspect in what happened to Trenton. She is our sole suspect," Rockefeller said.

Throughout the year, others have said Trenton may have been handed off to a Duckett friend. Police said that's also fiction.

"We cannot find any evidence of a hand-off -- nationally or internationally," Rockefeller said.

Police said the case isn't cold, but it's cooled.

They hope the one year anniversary of Trenton's disappearance will kick start the investigation.

Investigators said the photos found in Melinda Duckett's trash reveal her state of mind in the minutes and hours after she reported her 2-year-old son missing.

They also said that evidence makes it hard not to draw the conclusion that Trenton was not coming back.

Sources said it was clear that in the hours after she reported Trenton missing, Melinda Duckett was getting rid of any evidence that he had ever lived there.

To comment on this story, send an e-mail to Dave McDaniel.

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