It’s September in rural Illinois, and police officers are gathering 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 – then they notice something strange about the dresser against the wall.
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, they 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, Illinois. 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.