(NEW YORK) — For more than 27 years, Colleen Nick has been living with a void in her heart that she said will never be filled.
On June 9, 1995, her 6-year-old daughter Morgan was watching a Little League game at a ballfield near Alma, Arkansas, and went missing. Nick recalled the last time she saw her daughter was when she was running near the field with some friends during the game.
“I just looked up as they were running across. She had on her little green Girl Scout T-shirt,” Nick said. “But I looked at her running across with them and I turned back to the game.”
To this day, neither Morgan nor her remains have been found, and for years investigators have pursued every clue and every avenue for answers in Morgan’s disappearance.
But in the last two years, investigators said they may have received a huge lead that could bring more closure to the family.
An ABC News Studios docuseries now streaming on Hulu, “Still Missing Morgan,” chronicles the investigation into the missing child and features exclusive interviews with local detectives and FBI agents, and offers new key evidence that may lead to a suspect in the case.
Nick, who runs the Morgan Nick Foundation, an organization that helps find missing children, said she has never given up hope that Morgan would be found and her family would get justice.
Investigators said that one of the most important clues in the case was a red pickup truck with a camper that was parked near the ballfield at the time of the girl’s disappearance. The local police said that they received reports of a man who was inside the vehicle approaching children at the time.
For years, detectives and FBI agents didn’t have any suspects despite getting tips and information from thousands of people.
In November 2021, the FBI announced they had a break.
Investigators officially named Billy Jack Lincks as a person of interest. Lincks was convicted of sexual indecency after attempting to abduct a child two months after Morgan Nick’s disappearance.
During the incident, the victim of the attempted kidnapping told police that Lincks had pulled up in a red pickup truck that resembled the one linked to Morgan’s disappearance.
Lincks had previously been charged with sexual abuse in 1992, according to police records. He died in 2000 while serving his prison sentence in the sex abuse case, and the FBI is still seeking any information about connections he had with Morgan’s disappearance.
“I think the part that bothers me the most is that the [alleged] perpetrator is deceased, which means at the end of the day, at the end of the day, it means there’s no justice,” Nick said. “That no one is held accountable. No one has to stand and face us for what they did, that there’s just no justice for Morgan in this. And that’s something I have a really hard time getting my head around.”
The FBI was able to take possession of Lincks’ pickup truck and broke it down to try and find any evidence that would confirm it was used to abduct Morgan.
Initial crime lab reports found that blood was identified on part of a seat inside the truck and there were hair samples. However, those items didn’t have enough DNA information for a match to Morgan.
FBI investigators did, however, find a crucial piece of evidence inside the vehicle. A blue-green cotton fiber was discovered in the mat under the seats and in metal pieces of the truck.
Investigators said the strand could have been from Morgan’s Girl Scout shirt that she was wearing during the Little League game.
“Our hope was to get that information back very quickly,” Nick said before she found out the results.
An analysis found the fiber matched the same Girl Scouts shirt.
“The lab technician was able to determine that it is highly unlikely that the fibers found within the truck would come from a different material,” FBI Special Agent Ruben Gay said.
Although Lincks has yet to be formally charged with the abduction, FBI Special Agent Rob Allen said that the new evidence gives investigators a more explicit link between him and Morgan’s abduction.
“Now we can push away effort and resources on other subjects and reallocate them to this one and do a full-court press on this one subject,” he said.
Nick said that she is still holding out hope that she will find peace after all of these years.
“The possibility is that 2% [of missing children] do survive. That means that until someone can prove that Morgan didn’t survive, the possibility remains that she survived until someone can prove it,” she said. “My fight is for that small percentage in case Morgan fell into that 2% for the possibility, the tiny little possibility. As long as that possibility is there, that’s my fight to bring.”
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