CLAYTON, OK - A teenage boy went missing eight years ago in Pushmataha county, his remains discovered in the Kiamichi foot hills just miles from his home years later. His mother continues to plead for justice and closure in the mysterious death of her oldest son.
At 18 years old, Jeffrey Ben was a bright and vibrant kid; Homecoming king at Clayton High school and popular with his classmates.
"Well you can tell by looking at him that he was a beautiful person but not only on the outside but also on the inside Jeffrey was a very good, loving person,” said his mother, Linda Miller.
But eight years ago Jeffrey vanished into the night never to be seen alive again.
"All I know is I got a phone call asking if Jeffrey was at home, and he wasn't so that night January 29, 2009 is when it happened,” recalls Miller.
His family found his truck on the side of the road just south of Clayton with no sign of Jeffrey. His family searched through the night in nearby woods.
"2006 was when he was finally found, but up until then a living nightmare, hell on earth. You go through this panic phase not knowing where your child is and your soul can't rest, nothing can rest until you find your child,” said Miller.
Police say loggers found what was left of Jeffrey's body in the mountains just a short distance away from where his truck was left.
"I immediately responded to the scene... Recovered what skeletal remains were there and we were fortunate enough in the remains to identify that those remains as Jeffrey Ben,” said Pushmataha County Sheriff Jim Duncan.
Even after years of interviews and searching the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and Pushmataha County Sheriff's Office have never been able to determine what happened to Jeffrey.
"I would like to have it solved before my time is up whenever that turns out to be, but this is really going to be a difficult case to solve. We plead that if there's anybody that has any real information that can help us solve this case for them to come forward,” said Duncan.
Duncan said they followed several leads, bringing in family members and visiting suspects in prison. But OSBI and Duncan were never able to get an honest answer.
"Been a lot of interviews done by OSBI and I've done a lot of interviews and it's hard because everybody's not forthcoming in it. The interviews I've done have not panned out to be very informative,” said Duncan.
To this day OSBI keeps the cold case open as a homicide investigation. His mother has her own theories of how her son ended up dead in the Kiamichi foothills.
"He was taken by horseback is what I believe because you couldn't drive there in any way and I believe he was dumped there,” said Miller.
Now his mother wants justice for whoever harmed her son, pleading for the persons responsible to come forward.
"My Bible is still open to this verse that says all that is now hidden will someday come to light. And I pray one day that what happened to Jeffrey will come to light and that whoever is responsible will free then because they're not going feel free they're going to be captive by this secret,” said Miller.
A secret kept for eight years now that may never be revealed.
"Time is the only thing that makes things easier and it really doesn't get easier you just get more accustomed to living with the pain,” said Miller.