WEST VALLEY CITY Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Ron Druce simply disappeared after promising to return home.
But that was 20-years ago and he has never been heard from since.
In May 2000, Ron Druce arrived at his brother’s house.
“He was all happy and ready to spend the week-end with us and then just disappeared,” said his brother Robert Druce.
Two decades later, his parents and family are still waiting and wondering what happened to him.
“We never heard nothing,” said his mother Elaine Druce. “Every now and then we’d go on the computer search and if we could find his name. I have no idea where he is.”
Robert Druce recalled that brief encounter with his brother outside his home.
“(He said) ‘here take this up there and I’ll be right back,'” said Robert Druce. “(He said) I to go get some money that was owed to me from a friend of mine in South Jordan and that was it. He never came back.”
Back then the family started to worry later that night. They eventually filed a missing persons report with West Valley police.
Weeks later, the family learned his truck was found on a South Salt Lake street.
“The house where they found the truck, they had his keys and wallet,” said Elaine Druce.
His father said the people with his son’s truck were questioned but released.
“The cop pulled them over, pulled that truck over on State Street and it was a couple of kids and a girl and they found a bunch of stuff in the back,” said Tom Druce. “They couldn’t find nothing wrong so they let them go.”
But police did keep the truck. A spokesperson for the agency said the teens were cleared of any wrongdoing.
His parents never gave up hope and kept looking outside their doorstep in West Valley thinking he would one day return. But he never did. Weeks turn to months, then years. For his brother, reality started to set in.
“I don’t know (what happened to him),” he said. “Every time I hear of a body found; I keep an eye on it. I just watch it and pray it’s not him.”
In 2009, a Ron Howard Druce was arrested in Weber County. The family believes he had resurfaced. It turned out to be their cousin who they claim was using Ron’s identity.
But his disappearance turns into a cold case for police.
Memories and hope are all the Druce family have now. Pictures of Ron’s childhood are reminders of happier times. He grew up in Granger along with his brother, sisters, and cousins. They all ask the same question today as they did twenty years ago. Where’s Ron?
“I just keep hoping and keep looking,” said the father Tom Druce. “Someday maybe they’ll find one or the other. That’s all we can do.”
Anyone with information about Druce’s disappearance are urged to contact West Valley police.