Details of Disappearance
David was last seen in Jefferson City, Tennessee. That day after school he said he was going to go to a church function up the street from his home on Beeler Avenue. He did go to the church, but he didn't go inside and instead went to Druther's Restaurant.
The restaurant had a policy that children who presented report cards with a good grades could get a free meal. David's school report card had just come out that day and he had an A in physical education, so the restaurant gave him a free hamburger. It's unclear where David went afterwards; there are different reports, including one that he watched television at a friend's home and left for home at 7:00 p.m. He has never been heard from again.
David's family didn't realize he wasn't home until the next morning. His bed covers were arranged in a way to make it look like he was in bed asleep. At first they thought he'd spent the night at his friend's house, as he often did.
When his disappearance was reported to the police, investigators believed he might have run away, but his family never believed this. There was a tip that David was living in Florida with a cousin of his biological father, but this was discounted. David's father, who is now deceased, said he did not know his son's whereabouts.
According to his family, David was extremely friendly, even to strangers, and could have easily been lured into a stranger's car. Authorities believe he may have been abducted and murdered, but little evidence is available in his case.
David's mother was unmarried and only a teenager when he was born, so his grandmother legally adopted him and raised him. He was close to his mother throughout his whole life, however. He was a fourth-grade student at Jefferson City Elementary School in 1983, and although he wasn't a good student and had had to repeat the year, his loved ones described him as a bright, streetwise, pleasant boy. His case remains unsolved.