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“Help me find my baby,” Oklahoma family searching for missing son after 18 years

LOCUST GROVE, Okla. – For the past 18 years, an Oklahoma family has been looking for answers.

Brenda Miller says she still doesn’t know what sparked the change in her son from the sweet, silly boy to the troublemaker.

“I really didn’t know why he was changing. I wish I knew,” she told KJRH.

In 2000, 13-year-old David Allen Crabtree was acting out in school and sneaking out of his home to hang out with his friends.

After he was caught by Pryor police, Miller said she arranged for him to stay in a juvenile center in Claremore to scare him straight.

“I wanted him to see what kind of life that he would end up in if he continued. Because the officer told me he had been intoxicated,” she said.

However, the center sent him home after he was caught drinking.

Two days later, David sneaked out again.

“That night, he came in there and told us he was going to bed and he loved us,” Christina Dry, David’s sister, remembered.

That was the last time anyone saw him.

Family members searched everywhere, but no one had seen David.

“My belief is he had met some new friends that lived around our area that knew people from a different town,” James Crabtree, David’s brother, said.

Miller says she contacted the police department, but they listed David as a runaway.

“They looked at him as a troubled teen, so they didn’t help me,” Brenda Miller said.

Chief Bryan Hurry, with the Locust Grove Police Department, said he just learned of David’s case last year and realized that he was never changed from a runaway to a missing person in the system.

Hurry says he reached out to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for help.

“We know David did have a history of running away, but he always came back home or he was always observed around town with his friends,” said OSBI Special Agent Dale Fine.

If you know where David could be, call OSBI at 1-800-522-8017.