BUCKEYE, Ariz. - Drive around the city of Buckeye and you see signs of the holidays almost everywhere. Homes are decorated, store windows plastered with lights and decorations. Even cars are adorned with holiday ornaments.
Four months ago, though, those decorations and lights were flyers. It seemed everywhere you went in Buckeye, you saw a “missing” poster about 10-year-old Jesse Wilson.
“I don’t see many flyers up,” said Fernando Navarro.
As days turned to weeks and weeks to months, flyers were taken down. Yellow ribbons that covered the city are now faded and frayed.
“It’s unfortunate and heartbreaking,” said Brenda Valenzuela. “I can’t imagine a world without my kids.”
Outside Jesse’s school at the Bradley Academy some yellow ribbons tied to a fence remain but many have blown away. At the main entrance, a giant yellow wreath hangs on a pillar outside but flyers that were once on the door and inside are now gone.
For many in this community, a little boy who was once the primary focus of so many has taken a back seat to the holidays and everyday issues. His picture that was seemingly up in every business is rarely seen.
The Buckeye Police Department continues to work the case and follow up on leads but is still waiting for forensic evidence sent to the DPS Crime Lab.
“We are never giving up hope,” said Sgt. Jason Weeks. “We are still looking, not giving up.”
Several neighbors say Jesse’s disappearance is scary for many living here.
“The hardest thing is that you don’t know what happened to him,” said Elizabeth Alex.
A mother of two boys herself, Alex lives just a few houses down from Jesse’s home.
“It’s concerning because you don’t know if he is hurt by someone who could still be walking in our neighborhood,” she said.
Buckeye police do plan to print out more flyers and pass them out in hopes stores and businesses will once again post them around town.