MURRAY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Daniel Scott was worried about something.
His mother says it was his involvement in a fire. Scott’s childhood friend said it was a robbery.
Whatever the reason was, Scott disappeared and hasn’t been heard from since.
That was 1997 and 22 years later, the Scott family is still waiting for answers.
In late 1996, Daniel Leon Scott disappeared. Cherri Widdell was 15 years old but was close to her older brother. She said that night a lady friend arrived at the apartment and her brother left with her.
“He told me that he would be back in 20 minutes and he went out and I guess got into the car and that’s the last that I saw him,” said Widdell.
Their mother filed a missing persons report with Murray police and since then, they’ve agonized over what happened to him.
“Not knowing, it’s the worse,” said Shirley Scott. “It’s worse than even finding a body.”
His sister said every time she goes out into the public she can’t help but wonder if she’ll run into him.
“Every time I see somebody on the streets, driving by I have to hold off and see if that’s him,” Widdell said.
According to a 1997 police report, her mother called Scott’s disappearance “suspicious” and the officer concluded it was “strange.”
Shirley Scott claimed federal agents wanted him to wear a wiretap. She said her son and other friends were paid to set a warehouse on fire.
“They wanted all these other guys with him too,” the mother said. “They had him but they wanted these other guys.
Scott said her son told her he refused to do this.
His longtime friend recalled that it was a robbery that got him into trouble. Chris Christensen said Scott confided in him that he needed to get out of town.
“He told me that he was offered $8,000 and that it was to help him get out of town,” said Christensen.
But when asked who offered him the money Christensen didn’t have a clue.
“I have no idea,” he said.
Christensen said Scott said he was going to call him in March on his birthday. But he’s still waiting on that call too.
“I hate to think the worst,” Christensen said. “But it’s been so long that I don’t know. I hate to like I said he’s my brother. It hurts.”
Jason Jensen, a private investigator who is helping with the family said the police reports indicated that Scott ran away because of some outstanding warrants.
“But that probably is unlikely,” Jensen said. “The family says this is out of character.”
He said police need to investigate this much more thoroughly. He cited recent cases where police didn’t pay much credence to concerned families. Later they learned the victims were murdered.
“But one of the theories is that (Scott) was assigned to the witness protection because this may have been federal jurisdiction and they needed to protect him,” Jensen said. “But we would have thought a friend may have come forward saying that “yes, Danny reached out to us a few years ago.”
But neither Christensen nor his family has received any calls indicating that.
Shirley Scott said she’s facing reality that he may never be coming home.
“But I want to know what happened to him,” said Scott. “The thought of him being murdered or tortured or hurt, I can’t believe that.”
The Utah Cold Case Coalition is offering a $3,000 reward for information that helps solve this mystery.