SNOHOMISH COUNTY –
14 year old Shelby Wright was not your typical teenager. His mother, Lisa Wright says, “He grew up fast. It was just me, a single parent, and my parents as well. Being around three adults, you grow up quickly.” Shelby was highly intelligent and into computers. His grandfather Dennis recalls, “He used to drag home computers from yard sales to take a part just to see how they worked.” Yvonne Wright is Shelby’s grandmother. She too remembers Shelby’s love for gadgets. “One day he brought home a camera-my mom had discovered yard sales-4.21 and he set up a camera in his bedroom upstairs. He put a rotating thing on it and set it up so he could watch the cars go by outside or see who was at the front door. He was about ten when he did that.”
Shelby loved cats and even started his own business called “Catco” and when he was twelve, he published his own newspaper. “And wouldn’t you know his article is about mad cow disease,” Yvonne adds with a smile.
But in July of 2004, Shelby disappeared. Kelly Willoth works for Snohomish county sheriff’s office and is the lead detective on this case. “I know that he left his residence, he was seen by his mom leaving to come up here. From there, we don’t know if he ever returned home because no one has since seen him” Wiloth said.
Shelby used his scooter to get around the neighborhood and visit friends and family. That’s what he was doing when he went missing.
“Rob wolf was a friend of Shelby’s mother and very close to Shelby; a good friend of his. They hung out together, spent a lot of time together- that sort of thing, Explained Wiloth. Shelby’s scooter was found on Wolf’s property , but there was no sign of the 14-year old anywhere. Police questioned the man extensively, but nothing ever came of it. “He was equally concerned, so he said, about Shelby. Claimed to have no knowledge of what happened to him,” recalls Wiloth.
If Wolf did know anything, those answers died with him a few years ago. There were allegations of drug use on the property and a lot of different people in and out. Police performed exhaustive searches of the house and grounds, but came up empty. Wiloth says, “We’ve run dogs on the property , we’ve used ground penetrating radar and we’ve searched every square inch of this property.”
Police followed leads to two other properties as well, but found nothing there either. “Everything but his scooter vanished. He wore glasses and I haven’t been told that anything has turned up,” adds Wiloth.
Shelby’s mother says his laptop hasn’t been found either and he never went anywhere without it. Wright explain, “I don’t feel that he’s with us anymore. It’s just a feeling. I don’t think he is.”
Police are confident there are people out there with the information they need.
“Come forward. There’s nothing to be afraid of- no one’s going to get in trouble. We just need to know what you know”, says Wiloth. Yvonne Wright adds, “I would like to see justice. But first and foremost, I want to bring Shelby home. They could be anonymous. I could live with that.”
Lisa Wright has one message as well, “one way or another, I want him home.”
If you have any information about the disappearance of 14-year old Shelby Wright, call an anonymous tip into:
CRIME STOPPERS: 1-800-222-TIPS
You must call the Crime Stoppers hotline with your tip to be eligible to receive a cash reward for information leading to a fugitive’s arrest.
CLICK HERE for information on how to TEXT A TIP to Crime Stoppers