UPDATE @6:51 a.m. (Aug. 28):
Sugarcreek Township Police have confirmed that Jacob Caldwell, the son of murder victim Robert Caldwell, was found overnight and is safe.
LATEST UPDATES: Jacob Caldwell, teen missing since father’s 2017 murder, found safe
No other information was immediately available. But we will continue working on this story and bring you the latest information when it’s available.
FIRST REPORT (Aug. 24):
There is a new effort to find a teen missing since his father was shot and killed last year in front of him.
Jacob Caldwell’s face is going up on almost a dozen billboards, asking for people from Dayton to Cincinnati to help find him.
The Outdoor Advertising Association of America donated 10 digital billboards to display Caldwell’s picture and identifying information.
Of the six billboards in the Dayton area, one is alongside Interstate 75, with another four down toward Cincinnati.
“They’re all electronics billboards. They’re scattered throughout the area. Hopefully someone sees those things, we still get leads, not as often as we did,” Sugarcreek Twp. Police chief Mike Brown said.
The chief said he hopes that the thousands of drivers who will pass billboards like these will become an army of eyes that can help find this missing boy.
Caldwell disappeared just two days after he and his two younger brothers watched their dad killed by gunfire right in front of them.
“I don’t wish bad on anybody, but you can’t just be mad at someone and go take their life and take them away from family and their kids, that’s not OK,” said Candace Caldwell, whose husband, Robert Caldwell was killed. She and Robert Caldwell had two young children together, and she said her kids looked up to the three sons Robert Caldwell had from a previous marriage.
“It tears me apart to know they’re building relationships with their other siblings and Jacob’s not here to do that, we all love him so much,” she said.
Jacob Caldwell disappeared just a couple days after his father’s funeral. He was last seen in the parking lot of a Walmart in Sugarcreek Twp. He was caught on camera, appearing to be waiting for someone to pick him up, police said.
The digital billboards, donated by Lamar Advertising Company and Norton Outdoor Advertising, will display the missing child alert for four weeks.
“The out-of-home advertising industry regularly donates ad space to public service efforts,” said Nicole Randall, communications senior director at the Outdoor Advertising Association of America. “At the request of local law enforcement, billboards in Dayton, Cincinnati and along the Ohio River are asking the public’s help to locate Jacob.”
According to a press release, of more than 27,000 cases last year for which the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children provided assistance to law enforcement, less than one percent were children who simply vanished.
“We are very concerned for Jacob’s safety,” said Robert Lowery, vice president for the Missing Children’s Division of NCMEC, “but we know that children are found every day, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work with the out of home advertising community. These digital billboards will bring awareness to Jacob’s case and help in the search for answers.”
Anyone who has information about Caldwell or his possible whereabouts is urged to the call the NCMEC at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or Sugarcreek Twp. police at 937-310-3200.
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