It's been more than 15 years since little Wesley Dale Morgan seemingly vanished from his mother's front porch. Few clues have ever been discovered, but perhaps a new light being shown on the case will crack the story wide open.
"This could be the thing that brings about the answers," Mary Dufour, Wesley's aunt, told Dateline. "He would be 17 now, just a year from being a grown man. It's been too long."
Earlier this summer, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's New Orleans and Baton Rouge divisions launched a joint Child Abduction Rapid Deployment team to investigate Wesley's disappearance. Officials aren't speculating exactly why the case is getting a fresh look, only that new technologies in the area of missing children cases helped prompt the development.
Wesley was two years old when he was playing on the front porch of his mother's Clinton, Louisiana home. His parents were separated at the time, and he and his mother were reportedly living with her boyfriend at the time. It was around 9:45 a.m. when his mother told police she went inside to prepare some food. When she came back, only minutes later she said, Wesley was gone; not on the porch, in the yard or anywhere on their block within view.
News wires from the time show a large scale search was launched, with helicopters and cadaver dogs. But Wesley was gone, thought to be kidnapped or killed. As the years passed, several troubling stories emerged.
"Some people said his mother may have been involved, gave him away or something. But we really can't say anyone has done it. It's all rumors and speculation," Wesley's aunt Mary told Dateline.
Time has pushed Wesley's loved ones to continue on with their lives. His father, who shared custody of him at the time, according to Mary, has remarried and has other children.
"It's always been a real struggle for him. Wesley is his child and any parent can relate to not knowing if their child is OK," Mary told Dateline.
An attorney for Wesley's mother commented to WAFB that her ultimate dream is to find her son alive and somehow be involved in his life in some way
There are tensions between the two sides of Wesley's family. Mary, who is Wesley's father's sister, said despite the sometimes chilly relations, everyone has the same goal; bring Wesley home.
"I hope God's been looking out for him all these years," Mary said. "For a little boy to just vanish like that is terrifying. Whatever happened, it's sad. Perhaps he's out there not even knowing who he really is and that we are out here searching for him."
If you have any information regarding Wesley's case, you are urged to call the FBI at 1 (800) CALL-FBI (225-5324) or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111. There is a $10,000 reward offered by authorities for information in the case.