DUVAL COUNTY, Fla. – It has been exactly 10 years since two local boys walked away from their Duval County school and disappeared.
Mark Degner (pictured above right), 12, and Bryan Hayes (pictured above left), 13, were last seen leaving Paxon Middle School. Degner's mother, Linda Alligood said she's still holding out hope the boys are alive somewhere.
It was a baffling case from the start. The boys seemingly vanished without a trace.
"It is frustrating, because on a day-to-day basis you keep looking and hoping and hoping and looking and hoping one day he's just going to show up on your front door and say, 'I'm home,'" Alligood said.
There's never been a hint of where the middle school friends could have gone. Degner would be 22 years old and his friend Bryan Hayes would be 23 years old.
Alligood said so much time has passed that she may not recognize her son.
"The age progression photos -- he looks so much like my son," Alligood said. "He's 16 years old, looks a lot like him. He looks a lot like my older son -- he's 28 years old, so he's taken resemblance of them, a lot like them."
The search still continues. Even the school where the boys attended keeps their pictures up, hoping that someday they'll be found. And Degner's mother is keeping the faith, too.
"I mean, I don't ever hope the bad things are going to happen to him. I hope that he's OK and he's just safe and he's stubborn and doesn't want to come home," she said.
Alligood said going day-to-day without the boys never gets easy. To keep the thought of the boys alive, Alligood said she may have another birthday party for her son.