Deborah Boogher has never missed a year.
"I go to the park and I meet with the police every year," said Boogher, of York Township. "(I) don't dwell on the negative things or bad things or what may have happened to him."
Thursday marks the 15th year since the disappearance of Boogher's son, Jason Knapp, a 1996 Central High School graduate who disappeared April 11, 1998, while attending Clemson University in South Carolina.
At the time, he was a 20-year-old general engineering major at the university.
Boogher reported him missing April 17, 1998. His car, a white Chevrolet Beretta, was found 10 days later at the 3,000-acre Table Rock State Park, about 30 miles from the Clemson campus.
The search: The wooded, mountainous park has been searched several times over the years by family and
friends and police departments in Clemson and in Pickens County, where the park is located. However, Knapp has not been found, nor have searchers found evidence indicating what might have happened to him.
Boogher travels to Clemson University every year and sits on a bench she had placed in the university's botanical garden in remembrance of her son. She also talks to Pickens County police about her son's case.
John Knapp, Jason Knapp's father, said he sends a large basket of flowers to be displayed in the university's ROTC and veterans memorial area.
The passage of time does not make the pain of his son's disappearance easier, John Knapp said.
"He was only a child and that part is gone and everything he could have done after he graduated ... and even having grandchildren from him, I missed all that," John Knapp said.
No new clues: He said years have gone by since he's heard any information or helpful tip concerning his son's disappearance.
"After the first couple of years of his disappearance, we had a lot of weird stories from people who thought they saw things," John Knapp said. "I even had people who were psychic who said they knew things, but didn't."
Creed Hashe, chief deputy at Pickens County Sheriff's Office in South Carolina, said the Jason Knapp case has not been closed but given a suspended status, pending the discovery of new leads or information. There have been no new developments in recent years, according to Hashe.
In 1999, the FBI revealed that a fingerprint found on a park ticket stub matched a Jason Knapp print, proving he was in his car when it entered the park. When the case was handed over to the Pickens County Sheriff's Department in 2007, several homicide suspects were questioned about Jason Knapp, particularly those who targeted hikers. However, the questioning yielded no answers.
The department also searched the wooded, mountainous park twice, and had cameras put in at the bottom of the park's watershed in search of evidence, but nothing was found.
His life: At the time of his disappearance, Knapp was carrying a 21-credit school schedule while participating in the campus' ROTC program and had pledged into the Pershing Rifles, an elite rifle program.
Knapp, who had three roommates in an off-campus apartment, had plans to move into another apartment with someone else. He and another young man went apartment hunting and parted ways at 3:30 p.m. April 11. A parking stub indicated that Knapp's car entered the park April 12.
Boogher kept the car at her home, but eventually sold it.
She said to commemorate her son, she will have messages about him put on two billboards near Table Rock State Park and along the main thoroughfare in Clemson.
The billboards will feature police contact information, a photo of Knapp and a message about her loving and missing him, Boogher said.
"He always had such a beautiful smile," she said. "He was a very loyal person to his friends. I miss our times when we would go to the movies together or talk about whatever we would talk about."
-- Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org.