Clayton McCarter went missing in January 2014 from Bowling Green, Kentucky after authorities believe he and another boy, Rodney Scott, ran away.
“Tuesday was Clayton's birthday,” said Lynn McBride, the president for the Center for Search and Investigations the division director for NOMAD, the “Not Found Yet” Division of Team CFSI (Center for Search and Investigations.) She told Oxygen that Clayton turned 19 last week. “Unfortunately, we have seen a few birthdays come and go with Clayton still missing.”
Police believe that Clayton and Rodney ran away from the facility for children that they were staying at. Clayton has ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. According to his mother Rita McCarter, doctors said that Clayton had the mind of a 5-year-old.
She said that her son’s disappearance has been very difficult on her family. Clayton has two biological siblings and a step-sibling.
“It’s been hard but we pray and we still talk about him,” she told Oxygen. “Our little one will say something that Clayton would say and we are reminded of him. He (the younger brother) has ADHD, too. It’s taken a toll on them (the siblings). It’s been hard on me and my husband.”
She said the worst part of all is the wondering. “The not knowing is the hardest part,” Rita said.
Clayton would have graduated from high school on Friday if he was still in the area.
“He was supposed to graduate Friday night,” said Rita, adding that the missed milestone is particularly upsetting. “He had a bunch of friends and was known as the class clown.”
Clayton enjoyed playing basketball and football. He excelled at video games and was a talented artist. Rita said that his artistic ability was a positive aspect of Clayton’s disorders.
“He had been on medicine since he was little and we noticed that he could always draw and play video games really good.”
There have been no recent updates on the case but there has been incidents of false hope. Rumors were spread at local high school that Clayton was no longer missing.
“Then we would get phone calls of people telling us that he was found,” Rita told Oxygen.
In addition to that, Rita said her husband’s mom got a phone call from someone who claimed to be Clayton.
“The call said that the boys went across the border to Mexico. She (Clayton’s grandmother) thought she was talking to Clayton. We contacted authorities and they said it was a scam. But there’s always something in my mind always wonder if it might have been true."
Clayton stood at 5'11 and weighed 160 pounds when he ran away at age 15. Has brown hair and blue eyes. His left ear is pierced but he wasn’t wearing any earring at the time of his disappearance.
McBride said she and her team get attached to the families they work with, Clayton’s family included.
“Those birthdays, every missing day, affects us emotionally but I can't begin to imagine how his parents feel,” she said. “I would ask each member of the public to take a moment to imagine a person they love immensely just being gone, day in and day out, living with the worry and heartache. Then use that feeling to realize how much they would want everyone to be helping find them. Even if all you can do is share that child's poster or a story like this one on social media - that may be the one thing that the person with information sees, may be the share that gets them home.”
If you have any information on Clayton's whereabouts contact (270) 393-4000 or (502) 722-8181.
[Images courtesy of Facebook and NOMAD]