It’s September in rural Illinois, and police officers are assembling around a family home. They are searching for Ricky Chekevdia, a young boy who hasn’t been seen for almost two years. At first, there’s no sign of him – but then officers inside the property notice something strange about a dresser against one of the walls.
Michael Chekevdia and Shannon Wilfong had always had a troubled, on-and-off relationship; and even when their son Richard, known as Ricky, was born in 2002, the arguments did not stop. However, the parents initially worked out an agreement to share custody of the young boy.
Back in 1982, Michael had joined the Illinois Army National Guard in West Frankfort, close to his hometown of Royalton, IL. But even though he found himself deployed to Iraq soon after Ricky arrived, he appeared to maintain a close bond with his son. In fact, he even had a portrait of the pair commissioned while overseas.