This week’s featured missing person is Clayton Lynn McCarter, a 15-year-old boy who disappeared from the Potter Children’s Home in Bowling Green, Kentucky on January 15, 2014. He and another resident of the facility, 13-year-old Rodney Michael “Mikey” Scott, reportedly ran away together and haven’t been seen since.
Although the boys did apparently leave on their own and are still listed as runaways, there is significant reason to be concerned here: both boys left without any shoes, and Clayton has ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder, and is also mentally disabled with the capacity of a five-year-old. These were quite vulnerable boys. Less is known about Rodney, but Clayton’s disabilities make it unlikely that he could have survived on his own for even a week or two, never mind eight years and counting.
Clayton is white, 5’11 and 160 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes and a pierced left ear, though he wasn’t wearing an earring at the time of his disappearance. Rodney, also white, is 5’4 and 110 to 120 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes. He has a small birthmark on his forehead. Clayton was last seen wearing a t-shirt over a collared shirt, pajama pants and socks. Rodney was wearing a black jacket and socks; I’ve got no info on his pants.
I find the disappearance of best friends Mark Anthony Degner and Bryan Andrew Hayes puzzling and troubling. They’ve been missing from Jacksonville, Florida since February 1, 2005 — twelve years, nearly twelve and a half.
At first the circumstances of the boys’ cases look pedestrian enough: they were living in a group home, told friends they were going to run away, and apparently did just that. They were even sighted in Holly Hill, a small town south of Jacksonville on the Florida coast, two months later.
The boys, at just twelve (Mark) and thirteen (Bryan), were extremely young to have been gone this long. Bryan had run away before, but never for longer than a day, and Mark had no history of running away. Furthermore, they were developmentally delayed, functioning on the level of seven- to ten-year-old children, and both suffered from bipolar disorder.
How could they have remained off the map this long? Did the boys meet with foul play? If they’re still alive, why haven’t they resurfaced and who’s helping them stay hidden? Were relatives investigated? Were some member or members of the boys’ families unhappy that they were living in a group home? Or is it possible they fell victim to sex trafficking? Due to their disabilities. I should think they would have been extremely vulnerable to any kind of exploitation — even more so than most runaways.
The case reminds me of Clayton Lynn McCarter and Rodney Michael Scott, who ran away from a Bowling Green, Kentucky children’s home three and a half years ago and still haven’t been found. They were almost the same age: fifteen and thirteen. Clayton was developmentally delayed and had psychiatric issues, just like Mark and Bryan, and there’s a good chance Rodney had similar problems though I don’t know that for sure. I’m not suggesting McCarter/Scott disappearances are related to Mark and Bryan’s, though, given the distance in both time and space.
So what do you think happened to Mark Degner and Bryan Hayes? Let’s talk about it.