30 years later: N.A. resident still missing

Submitted graphic Jeremy Grice has been missing for 30 years today. Grice was last seen at age 4 in 1985 in North Augusta.

There have been no new leads in the case of a 4-year-old boy who went missing from North Augusta 30 years ago today, according to a spokesman with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office.

But that fact alone doesn’t mean the case of Jeremy Grice, only a toddler when he disappeared from his North Augusta home, is being overlooked, Capt. Eric Abdullah told the Aiken Standard.

“We are going to keep the case open as long as possibly we can,” Abdullah said. “Our investigators, every year or throughout the year, they look at the case. It does not just sit on the shelf without being looked at.”

Family members also are checked in with frequently, he added; and Grice is in the national database for missing children.

An age-progressed photo has been provided by the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children showing how the blond-haired, hazel-eyed Grice could look today.

He would be 34.

Grice was last seen by a neighbor around 8:45 a.m. on Nov. 22, 1985, the Aiken Standard reported five years ago. According to the article, a neighbor told police the child, dressed in his pajamas, was standing barefoot near a mailbox.

Investigators said the neighbor told them she saw Grice with his bike, but that lead was never substantiated, the article said.

“This is one of those cases (where) he was last seen outside and then, gone missing,” Abdullah said, “Of course, hope is our greatest tool here besides anyone giving us any new information or any new leads.”

Investigators who spoke with the Aiken Standard on the 25th anniversary of Grice’s disappearance said his stepfather was home with the boy, but no one heard anything suspicious and there was “no evidence” of foul play.

Abdullah said there is no “typical pattern” in missing persons cases, and investigators try to look at all the facts before assuming suspicious circumstances.

“In my time in law enforcement I haven’t seen a whole lot of missing cases surrounding suspicious circumstances,” he said. “There are few, but normally if someone loses contact with someone, each case is handled differently on a case-by-case basis.”

But after 30 years, some would question the probability of the case being solved.

“Anything is possible,” Abdullah said. “We don’t give up hope on cases until we’ve exhausted every measure possible to locate them.”

Those with any new information on Grice’s disappearance should contact the Sheriff’s Office at 803-642-1761 or call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).

Grice’s poster can also be viewed at www.missingkids.com/poster/NCMC/601591/1#poster.

Christina Cleveland is a general assignment reporter at the Aiken Standard. Follow her on Twitter @ChristinaNCleve.