- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 30, 2003

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) Authorities conducted DNA tests on a youngster to determine whether he is a boy who disappeared from his family's North Carolina home in 2000 when he was 4 years old.
The boy shares the same facial features, scars and speech impediment as Tristen "Buddy" Myers, said Sheriff's Sgt. Darold Cox of Sampson County, N.C.
DNA samples were taken from him Monday. The boy had been taken into state custody in Illinois after the man caring for him raised suspicions with workers at a hospital.
Buddy hadn't been seen since he wandered away from his aunt's home on Oct. 5, 2000, with his two dogs. The two dogs eventually returned home, but searchers didn't find the boy.
Investigators took a DNA sample from Buddy's mother, Raven, last week and performed a match test Monday, Illinois Department of Child and Family Services spokeswoman Jill Manuel said. It will take four to six weeks to receive the results.
Buddy's aunt, Donna Myers, said local investigators asked her to come to the sheriff's office in Clinton, N.C., on April 1 to look at a picture of the boy. At the time Buddy disappeared, she and her husband had been caring for the boy, who had been living with various relatives since he was born to a teenage mother.
Donna Myers, whose house was decorated with yellow ribbons, told the Fayetteville Observer, "There are so many things that point to it being him that we are just praying that it is. If it's not him, he's got a twin."
The boy's cousins in Sampson County, N.C., said yesterday on ABC's "Good Morning America" that they hoped that DNA testing could be hurried.
"It looks like it could be him," said Jamie Richmond, adding that he was told that X-rays showed the boy had the same breaks in his leg as Buddy, who was injured in a car accident less than a year before he disappeared.
A man who had brought the boy to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston asked doctors to do something about his "aggressive behavior," Miss Manuel said.
Donna Myers said she was told the man called the boy Eli Quick.
The hospital staff became suspicious and called police, who discovered the man was wanted for shoplifting. The man was taken into custody at the time on the shoplifting warrant, but Evanston police wouldn't comment on the status of his case.

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