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Mother of missing boy commits suicide

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  • Alfred
    Two weeks after telling police that her son had been snatched from his crib, Melinda Duckett found herself reeling in an interview with TV s famously
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 13, 2006
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      Two weeks after telling police that her son had been snatched from
      his crib, Melinda Duckett found herself reeling in an interview with
      TV's famously prosecutorial Nancy Grace. Before it was over, Grace
      was pounding her desk and loudly demanding to know: "Where were you?
      Why aren't you telling us where you were that day?"

      A day after the taping, Duckett, 21, shot herself to death,
      deepening the mystery of what happened to the boy.

      Police have refused to say whether she left a suicide note, and said
      nothing they have found so far in their investigation of her death
      has shed light on the whereabouts of her 2-year-old son, Trenton.

      Investigators have stopped short of calling her a suspect but have
      focused increasing attention on her movements just before the boy
      vanished and the notes, computer, camera and other items seized from
      her house.

      Duckett's family members disputed any suggestion that she hurt her
      son. They said that the strain of her son's disappearance pushed her
      to the brink, and the media sent her over the edge.

      "Nancy Grace and the others, they just bashed her to the end,"
      Duckett's grandfather Bill Eubank said Tuesday. "She wasn't one
      anyone ever would have thought of to do something like this. She and
      that baby just loved each other, couldn't get away from each other.
      She wouldn't hurt a bug."

      Janine Iamunno, a spokeswoman for Grace, said in an e-mail that
      Duckett's death was "an extremely sad development," but that the
      program would continue covering the case.

      "We feel a responsibility to bring attention to this case in the
      hopes of helping find Trenton Duckett, who remains missing," Iamunno

      Duckett had told police that after she finished watching a movie
      Aug. 27, she went to check on Trenton in his bedroom, and all she
      found was an empty crib — and a 10-inch cut in the window screen
      above it. At the time she was living her son, wading through a messy
      divorce with the boy's father and trying to get her life back on
      track after getting laid off from her job with a lawn care company.

      The boy's disappearance in this town of 19,000 people about 45 miles
      northwest of Orlando stretched the 75-member police force to its
      limits. Fliers were posted on gas station doors around town, asking
      for information from anyone who might have seen the boy, a brown-
      haired youngster wearing denim shorts and a diaper.

      Trenton's father, 21-year-old Josh Duckett, was closely questioned
      after the boy disappeared. Newspapers reported that his wife had
      taken out a temporary restraining order against him. But Josh
      Duckett took a polygraph test and has answered all police questions
      satisfactorily, Capt. Ginny Padgett said.

      On Sept. 7, Melinda Duckett gave a telephone interview to CNN
      Headline News' Grace, a former prosecutor known for practically
      cross-examining her guests. Duckett stumbled over such questions as
      whether she had taken a polygraph — she said she refused on the
      advice of her divorce lawyer — and where, exactly, she was shopping
      with the boy before his disappearance.

      Hours before the interview aired, Duckett shot herself Friday with
      her grandfather's gun at her grandparents' house, up the road from
      where she was living.

      Investigators are still trying to piece together a timeline of where
      she and Trenton were 24 hours before she reported him missing. On
      Tuesday, they released the make and model of her car, a 2000
      Mitsubishi Eclipse, and asked anyone who might have seen it during
      that period to call them.

      Also on Tuesday, a newspaper reported that she bought a shotgun from
      a pawn shop two days before Trenton vanished. Padgett said police
      could not confirm that.

      On Monday, agents used dogs and digging equipment to search an
      outlying area that someone had called about, but found nothing.
      Investigators continued to field tips.

      "We're following up," Padgett said. "Hopefully they'll bring in
      something to help us firm up the timeline."
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