ELKTON, Md. — Chris Dietterick was 41-years old when he was last seen on surveillance video in Elkton in May 2019.
WMAR-2 News spoke with Chris's mother who thinks there's a chance her son might have died accidentally but his sister believes something more sinister happened to him.
Police said Chris didn’t have a car, bank account or credit cards but he did have a cell phone. His cell was turned off when he went missing, which is why police said he disappeared without a trace.
Chris Dietterick’s mother Pam Wiseman said “I think someone took him, or killed him, or did something to him. I think it was foul play, mostly because his kids meant everything to him, and he would not have just disappeared.”
Chris Dietterick’s sister Sara Dietterick said “I’m almost certain it was foul play. I know some of the people that he was interacting with before he went missing, not your greatest people.”
Sara Dietterick remembers the last time she spoke with her brother.
“I talked to Chris on May 24, 2019. I had called him. He was supposed to meet his ex-wife and his children to have lunch. He did not show up. They called me and said ‘have you heard from your brother.’ I said ‘no, let me see what I can do.’”
That call was six days before Chris was last seen in Elkton and vanished without a trace.
“I got a hold of him and he said ‘I just wasn't feeling good. I sent them a message.’ I said well, did you bother to make sure they found out? I was kind of rude to him. I really was in the beginning. And, he said ‘I’m sorry, I wasn't feeling good. We ended up settling our differences and said I love you before we hung up. he said let me go call Shilo and I’ll call you back, and he never did,” Dietterick said.
Chris's mother and his sister have been searching and wondering what happened to him for nearly two-and-a-half-years. However, his mom has been worrying about her son for a few years longer.
“It’s been bad, probably about five years or so because of his lifestyle. It's just I always worry about him, because you don't know what they're doing. If they're OK. So, I've worried about him a lot,” Wiseman said.
Chris's mom says he had a life on the streets
“He was homeless. He did have a residence where he could get his mail, and things like that, where he could shower, and cook food, and things like that, but he didn't really live in that residence,” Wiseman said.
Chris's sister wants answers, regardless of what might have happened on the streets.
“He’s a human being. He’s a father, he's a son, he's a brother. He’s a person. Like, I don't care what he did, there's no reason that whatever happened to him should have happened,” Dietterick said.
Elkton Police Sgt. Ronald Odom says the leads on this case have gone cold.
“Everything that we've gotten up until this point has been followed up on, interviews, we've done search warrants, everything following up on social media. We just don't have the information to give us the general idea of where Chris is,” Odom said.
Surveillance video at the Cecil County Health Department shows the last time anyone saw Chris in Elkton was on May 30, 2019. Chris's family said he went to the health department to retrieve a battery charger for his cellphone which he had left behind.
“Why would you turn your phone off and disappear if you're getting your battery? I mean, his phone was his thing. He wanted to make sure it was always on, whether it be contacting family, or needing something, or medical stuff because he had a lot of medical things, but his phone was his thing,” Dietterick said.
He used his cell phone to talk with his sister often.
“I would text him sometimes instead of actually calling him, because he would get very upset. Every time I would talk to him, he would say ‘I’m ready to be with granny,’ which was our grandmother. She had passed, and I said we're not allowed. You can't do that. You have children. You can't do any of that,” Dietterick said.
While Chris's mother and sister don't believe he disappeared on his own, his niece, Sara's daughter, told her mother a possibility she wasn't ready to hear.
“My daughter, the last time I said to her, are you looking, and she said mommy, he's not here. It just broke me apart. And, apparently it broke her apart, because she told her father that she felt terrible that she said that to me because she knows that it hurt me. She knew that I needed to hear the truth, but I told her it's not going to stop me from looking and believing that maybe, just maybe someday,” Dietterick said.
Chris's mom and sister Sara both hope someone will give Elkton Police the information they need to help find Chris someday soon.
“I’m pretty sure there's people in the town of Elkton that know what happened to my son. I hope that one of them will come forward. Maybe they're frightened or scared that something will happen to them if they tell, but I really hopes someone speaks up,” Wiseman said.
“Just come forward, even if it has to be anonymous. Like, just say something. I mean for God sake, if it was their loved one, they would want the same,” Dietterick said.