More than 30 years have passed since a mystery woman stole David Blockett from his Newport News home in 1980. He could have grown up some place else, have a different name or live anywhere.
That's why NewsChannel 3 and the Newport News Police Department are taking action to make a national plea to find David. The NNPD invited investigative reporter Jessica Larche to the National Information Officers Association Conference in Nashville, where she and NNPD public information officer Lou Thurston outlined details of David's abduction to law enforcement agencies across the country.
"You have representatives from the smallest towns in America and the nation's major cities," said NIOA member Don Aaron with the Nashville Police Department.
On December 11, 1980, a so-called Marie Kelley claiming to be a social worker, showed up at teenage mother Vanessa Blockett's door. She convinced the teen mom to let her take her two-week-old son David and two-year-old son Frederick to a Christmas party. Frederick was found that same day, but the woman and David slipped away forever.
The case had grown cold and closed, until NewsChannel 3's Jessica Larche took action to get it re-opened last year.
The crowd at the convention was impressed to learn NewsChannel 3's stories have led to some of the biggest leads in the case since David was stolen. The leads were developed from tips WTKR received and detective work that led to the discovery of David's diaper bag that was discarded the day he was stolen.
One of the biggest assets in the case shown at the conference was the sketch of the woman who stole David. Now, dozens of eyes across the country can help.
"We all try to work to figure out what's happened, who may be responsible and get those children back whether it be one day, one week, 20 or 30 years," Aaron said.
"Our big hope, and we're very passionate, is making that reunion happen between Frederick and his brother," Thurston said.
David's family does, too.
"I pray a lot about this," said Fred West, David's father. "I ask the Lord if he's still alive, if he's out there, that he be reunited with us."
If you have any information that can help with the David Blockett investigation, call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP or the NewsChannel 3 David tip line at 757-446-1350.