New investigator brings hope to missing persons family

NOCONA, TX (KAUZ) - A missing persons' case that Montague County law enforcement has been working on for years is back open after going cold.

Caleb Diehl, the youngest of five, disappeared more than two years ago at 18 years old. His family is waiting for him to come home.

Billboards and banners with the words "Bring Caleb Home" cover the city of Nocona.

"It kills you," Tami Diehl, Caleb's mother, said. "It kills you to see it. It kills you to see it torn."

The day Diehl disappeared, he was leaving his mother's home in after celebrating his birthday. He was heading to his home in Grapevine.

His car was in the mechanic so he took a pickup truck belonging to a family friend, Ricky Dale Howard, the last person Montague County law enforcement said Diehl spoke to.

Aly Forster, Caleb's oldest sister, said they were first frustrated when he did not arrive home like he said he would. "It was April Fool's Day and we thought it was a joke."

His mother received a call from the school telling them he never went which brought the haunting reality, Caleb was missing. The family, county law enforcement and the community began their search.

With no new leads or information, the case started to go cold.

The Montague County Sheriff's office brought in a reserve deputy to work the case and help bring Caleb home.

Kevin Benton was a former sheriff in Montague County," Sheriff Marshall Thomas said. "He has worked for DA's investigators' office in Cook County and most recently he's been a Chief Deputy in Wise County.

"Just bringing a fresh perspective to the investigation is going to help."

"It's very encouraging," Tami said. "It was very, very, good news because it felt like it was forgotten."

Tami said she hopes this can help encourage people to speak out and share information that can lead to them finding her son.

The last person who spoke to Caleb, Howard was recently released from prison for weapons violations just more than a year of a five-year sentence.  Now he is awaiting trial on two sexual assault of a child charges.

If you know anything, you are encouraged to call the Montague County Sheriff's Office at (940) 894-2871. Diehl is described 6'2, blonde hair, blue eyes and weighing around 170 lbs.