One year later, family is still looking for answers on son's disappearance

By Beau Ebenezer

April 9, 2014 Updated Apr 10, 2014 at 9:53 PM CDT

LEWISTOWN, Ill. -- It has been just over a year since a young man vanished. His parents are still searching for answers.

Derick Higgins, 21, of Smithfield was reported missing on March 21, 2013.

Police began the investigation when Higgins did not show up for work.

Three days later his car was found abandoned in the Florida panhandle, near Tallahassee, after a minor crash.

His I.D. and money were left in the car.

Now after an entire year of searching and working with local police, the Higgins family is struggling to keep hope alive.

Derick's parents, Tim Higgins and Debbie Corsaw, have been in contact with the Fulton County Sheriff's Office for more than a year but have seen little results.

"At the beginning they didn't do anything," said Tim Higgins. "They just thought he was a missing person and wouldn't even follow up. About six months into it they started to try and follow up on leads. By then, everything had went cold."

Sergeant Dan Daley with the Sheriff's Office said they continue to follow up on leads, and they talked to the parents as recently as Monday.

He said they received evidence from Derick's car, which was found in Florida, and it's still in the lab.

The next step for the department is to set up a reward for information.

Daley said he understands the parents are upset, but without a crime scene, they have to rely on public tips which makes it hard to move forward.

Derick was last seen in Canton at the MidAmerica National Bank. His parents believe he was taking money out to purchase a car.

After looking at bank security footage, Derick's parents said it appeared someone was watching him.

A purchase on Derick's debit card was also made at a gas station in Creve Coeur later that morning.

Derick's mother, Debbie Corsaw said he seemed depressed before his disappearance, but running away was out of his character.

"He just moved back into my house," said Corsaw. "If he wanted to just take off, he would have left everything in his car, but he didn't do that. I've always known where he was. We have always kept in contact. This has never happened. Never.".

The Higgins family still has hope their son is somewhere safe.

"Life is just not the same without him," said Corsaw. "We just need closure."

If you have any information on Derick Higgins's whereabouts, you are urged to call the Fulton County Sheriff's office at 547-2277.

You can also contact the family on their Facebook page, "Hurry Higgins and Hurdle Home".