SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – It’s a picture that Cherri Waddle took that serves as a reminder of what she once had.
The picture was taken when Waddle and her brother, Danny Scott were young. It showed Scott offering a slight kiss on her sister’s head.
“It just reminds me that he was always there,” said Waddle. “He was always wanting to protect me and help me in any way that he could.”
But in 1997, Waddle lost that bond with Danny. She was 14-years-old when she watched her older brother leave their apartment with a female friend. It was the last time he was seen. She recalled her brother’s last words to her.
“(He said) if I am not back in 20 minutes, call mom,” Waddle remembers. “Twenty minutes passed and he wasn’t back. I waited another 15 minutes before calling Mom.”
Their mother, Shirley Scott, filed a missing persons report with Murray Police. His picture eventually made its way to several missing persons databases and later to several websites. But it didn’t help. Danny Scott was still missing.
In a 2019 interview with the Utah Cold Case Coalition, she requested their help.
“I will take any information,” Scott said in the interview. “I just hope I can learn what happened to him before I die.”
But Scott died a year later and never learned what happened to her son.
“It’s hard,” Waddle said. “You don’t know if he’s alive, if he’s been harmed, if he’s been killed.”
The reality is Danny Scott is probably dead.
“So he’s been gone all these years and everyone assumes he’s dead now because no one has heard from him,” said Tom Harvey with the Cold Case Coalition.
But why did he suddenly disappear? The answer may lie in the files of Murray Police which conducted an investigation.
“Danny had some minor criminal things on his record including some warrants that were out at the time of his arrest,” said Harvey.
The police report indicated Scott and others were involved in, “the burning or arson of a building in Holladay.”
The report also claimed he “confessed” to an ATF agent and “plans to wear a wire” to implicate others.
Danny’s mother, who was aware of these allegations, told the Utah Cold Case Coalition of her conclusion.
“As a result of that, someone else that was involved in that arson was involved in his disappearance,” said Harvey.
Scott firmly believed that, but the police didn’t. The report indicated Scott failed to wear a wire to implicate others in the arson. They also believed someone paid him $7,000 to disappear.
Shirley Scott never thought her son would just disappear without contacting herself or his family members. Waddle still hopes someone will come forward and tell her where his remains are.
The Utah Cold Case Coalition is offering a reward for information.