Missing boy's photos, toys found in trash bin

Published Sept. 21, 2006|Updated Sept. 22, 2006

ORLANDO - Investigators found a 2-year-old boy's photographs, toys and a sonogram image in a trash bin at his mother's apartment complex a day after she reported his disappearance last month, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The items were found Aug. 28 at the Windemere Villas apartment complex in Leesburg where Trenton Duckett's mother, Melinda Duckett, lived, FDLE spokeswoman Susie Murphy said.

Duckett said her son disappeared overnight from his bedroom, where police found a cut window screen. Nearly two weeks later, on Sept. 8, she killed herself with a shotgun at her grandparents' home.

Leesburg police Capt. Steve Rockefeller said authorities have focused on investigating the movements of Duckett, 21, and Trenton in the two days before his reported disappearance. But they still "haven't labeled anyone as a suspect," he said.

Melinda Duckett's family has blamed pressure from the investigation and national media attention for driving her to suicide.

Joshua Duckett, Trenton's father, who was not living in the apartment, submitted to a polygraph test and his answers raised no suspicions about him, authorities have said. Rockefeller said the possibility that someone not connected to the family abducted Trenton is still being investigated.

But the continuing search for Trenton, which is being conducted by Leesburg police, the FBI and the FDLE, continues to focus on trying to retrace his and his mother's movements.

Police have received many tips, some of them conflicting, about Melinda's activities before Trenton was reported missing.

Duckett told her attorney she took her son and her shotgun to the Ocala National Forest on Aug. 27, where she intended to take target practice, but then became lost and drove around Central Florida for several hours.

Other tipsters put Melinda alone in Leesburg the day Trenton was reported missing.