Sunday, October 2, 2016
Five Years Since Family Lost Contact With Missing Teen
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It's not the kind of anniversary any family wants to celebrate.
"It's just another day that we don't know anything," said mom Monica Button, "every day I wake up and I think about my son."
Her son Nieko Lisi was 18 when he went on a road trip from their home in New York to Franklin, Tennessee, where he went to 11th grade.
Police say his cell phone last pinged off a tower near Flintlock Drive and he hasn't been seen since. Friday it had been five years to the day since his family lost contact.
"I wonder where he is," Button said from New York over FaceTime, "whether he's okay, if he's not. If it's raining, is he cold, is he wet, is he eating and then I jump to the other conclusion that what if he's gone?"
His mom has been in agony, comforted only by the fact that New York State police renewed their search efforts this summer. Investigators traveled to Franklin and partnered with local police.
Their time in Middle Tennessee brought a major breakthrough. Just a day after they held a press asking the public for help, tips led to the truck Nieko was driving five years ago. It was stripped down and locked in someone's garage.
The truck and other items are in a lab getting tested for DNA evidence. And now all eyes are on the neighborhood he was last seen.
"I do believe that those people know something on that street," Button said.
Desperate for answers, she's preparing herself for the worst.
"I have friends who have lost their child and I've always said 'I want to be there, I don't want to be in their shoes,' but the agony of not knowing may be worse than that," Button said.
She's just hoping that a year from now, there won't be another
anniversary like this one.