IMMOKALEE — Two years after the disappearance of Adji Desir, officials remain optimistic for the safe return the 8-year-old boy.
On Tuesday morning, Collier County Sheriff’s detectives, along with agents from the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement went door-to-door in Farm Workers Village and the Immokalee community, handing out several hundred updated fliers about Adji’s 2009 disappearance.
The fliers feature an image of Desir’s, with text in English, Creole and Spanish urging anyone who may have information about his disappearance to become a part of the Triangle of Trust, a partnership between law enforcement, the community and Desir’s family.
The Triangle of Trust is a relatively new program that was launched by Collier County sheriff’s Sgt. Ken Becker. The Triangle of Trust emphasizes the importance of the community’s trust with law enforcement to help close cases like Adji’s, Becker said.
“I had been through training recently and heard there needs to be a ‘triangle of trust,’ and I thought it would be good to incorporate that phrase into this case,” he said. “Without help from the community, we’re going to have a hard time.”
Becker, who has been involved in the case since the night Adji was reported missing on January 10, 2009, said between 400 to 500 fliers were distributed on Tuesday.
“There are 350 residents that are occupied (at Farm Workers Village),” Becker said. “We either spoke or left a flier with all of them.”
A makeshift memorial for Adji stands near the entrance of Farm Workers Village.
Spider-Man balloons swayed in the air and a teddy bear was left on the grass beneath a framed flier of Adji. A poster with images of the 6-year-old was propped up on the chain-link fence, yellow flowers and colorful stickers surrounding another flier pasted to the board.
“We’re always optimistic we’ll bring the child home,” Becker said. “Our hope is to find him alive and bring him home.”
As time passes from the day Adji went missing from his grandmother’s yard in 2009, Becker wanted to assure the community that the sheriff's department had no intentions of giving up.
“Obviously, with this case and any missing person case that we have in Collier County, it is constantly being looked at,” he said. “People may think as time passes (the investigation) is put into a filing cabinet, but that’s not the case.”