Prayer vigil held for Nocona teen missing for 3 years


NOCONA, TX (RNN Texoma) - The community of Nocona finds hope in one another, three years to the day that teenager Caleb Diehl went missing.

Police say Caleb disappeared when he was leaving his mom's house after celebrating his birthday. He was 18-years-old.

Hand in hand, heart to heart, dozens made their way to downtown Nocona Friday for a prayer vigil held for him.

Tami Diehl, Caleb's mom, said a few people get together every week to pray for her son. One of those is Belinda Hendrix.

"It's just something that God told me to do," said Hendrix. "To kind of lead and guide this, and it makes me feel like I am doing something, it makes me not feel helpless, it makes me feel like I am being useful in some sort."

Something the family is grateful for.

"Their support has been incredible because they haven't given up," said Diehl.

Hendrix said they have been patient and know answers will be uncovered. In the crowd was the man searching for just that, investigator Kevin Benton.

"I came in and took it basically as a cold case," said Benton.

Caleb's mom said that news was unbelievable.

"It was like hope again because it felt like nothing was happening at all," said Diehl. "Just his support and his wanting so hard to find answers, just gave us renewed hope."

Police say on the day Caleb disappeared his car was in the shop, so he took a pickup truck belonging to a family friend, Ricky Dale Howard. Law enforcement says they believe he is the last person Caleb spoke to.

Benton said Howard is a person of interest.

"I try to go into it {the investigation} with an open mind, and indeed it has regenerated that same person of interest," said Benton.

Diehl said for so long it felt like they were supposed to go on without the closure they need, but now that is changing.

"I feel like there is a good chance we are going to get some answers," said Diehl.

Benton said they do have additional leads they are working on now.

If you have any information on this case you are asked to call the Montague County Sheriff's Office at 940-894-2871.

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