Derrick James Engebretson

Friday, March 03, 2006

Graffiti May Be Linked To Missing Boy

Graffiti May Be Linked To Missing Boy
Posted: 10/3/03 3:58 pm

Entertainment & the Arts: Tuesday, October 05, 1999

Pacific Northwest


Graffiti May Be Linked To Missing Boy


Seattle Times Staff: Seattle Times News Services


GRANTS PASS, Ore. - It could be a cruel joke, or it could just be mindless ranting like so much other restroom graffiti.

But a written message about the 1998 disappearance of 8-year-old Derrick Engebretson looks real enough to convince authorities the boy may have been abducted, instead of having perished on a mountainside while looking for a Christmas tree.

Wanting to pursue every possible lead in the case, detectives last week removed part of the wall from the rest-stop bathroom on Oregon's high desert. The section was sent to the state crime lab to check for fingerprints or anything else that might shed light on its origin.

Investigators refused to say what was written on the wall, but Derrick's mother says it suggested her son may have been taken from the mountain against his will.

Not a trace of Derrick has turned up since he disappeared Dec. 5 on the east side of the Cascade Range.

The boy had been out with his father and grandfather. He had been sent up a hill with a hatchet to cut down a tree. The father and grandfather each thought the boy was with the other.

Copyright (c) 1999 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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