TAMPA — Michael Allan disappeared 15 years ago, lost somewhere on his way to pick up his 7-year-old son for trick-or-treating.
His bones were found a year later. But nobody knew it was he for years.
In April, authorities finally were able to identify Allan's remains, found near the Howard Frankland Bridge in July 1998.
They believe someone killed Allan, who was 44 when he disappeared on Oct. 31, 1997. But authorities say they don't know who did it.
So on Friday — the 15th anniversary of Allan's disappearance — the Florida Department of Law Enforcement held a news conference to announce the discovery that the bones were Allan's and to ask for the public's help.
"Mr. Allan was murdered," said Rick Ramirez, the special agent in charge of the FDLE's Tampa Bay operations. "We're looking for information from the public."
Allan, who lived in Pasco County, was last seen leaving his job at a Brooksville car dealership.
According to his ex-wife, Kelly Allan, he was headed to Tampa to pick up his son. It was an annual tradition, and he would not have wanted to disappoint the boy, his family said at the time.
But Allan, a service manager at Plaza Dodge in Brooksville, never made it.
Twenty-five days later, authorities found Allan's 1989 red Dodge Daytona in a parking lot in Tarpon Springs. A friend said detectives found bloodstains in the car, though authorities would not confirm that.
Right away, Allan's mother, Nannette Allan, said she feared the worst.
"I've prayed and prayed and prayed every day," the mother told the Tampa Bay Times a few months after his disappearance. "He would never have left without his son. That boy was everything to him."
Allan's remains were found about eight months later, and new developments in forensic technology allowed authorities to identify them this year.
Investigators did not release much information about the case Wednesday, saying it's an open investigation.
Ramirez read a statement from Allan's mother, who was unable to attend the news conference.
"I would pray that if anyone knows anything about my son's disappearance and murder that you would come forward and put this to rest," Ramirez read.
Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8477.
Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 226-3433.