Mother hopes son missing for 13 years will be found - WSMV Channel 4

Mother hopes son missing for 13 years will be found

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Jeremy Bechtel Jeremy Bechtel
SPARTA, TN (WSMV) -

Jeremy Bechtel, 17, left his house in Sparta on April 2, 2000. That was the last time Rhonda Ledbetter saw her son.

"He said that he was going to his cousin's house. He never came back," said Ledbetter.

Bechtel met his girlfriend Erin Foster at his cousin's house, and she also disappeared. The two haven't been seen since.

The White County sheriff's department never closed the case. Investigator Chris Isom told Channel 4 News his office receives a lead or two every few months.

"It could be a rumor, or a lead. We follow every one of them. We are waiting for that one lead that will lead us to both Jeremy and Erin, but so far we have yet to receive it," said Isom.

Ledbetter believes her son and his girlfriend did not run away. Bechtel worked at the Sparta Burger King while he attended high school. Erin also worked at a nearby restaurant. They never picked up their checks.

"If they were going to run, they would need money, for food and shelter," said Ledbetter.

Adding another layer of mystery to the disappearance, both Bechtel and Foster were last seen in the car belonging to Foster's father. The car was never found. 

Throughout the years, Ledbetter has never given up hope that her son will be found.

"Somebody knows what happened. I don't care what happened, I just want my son and Erin back home," said Ledbetter.

If you have any information on the disappearance of Bechtel and Foster, call the White County sheriff's department at 931-836-2700.

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