Police look for new evidence in 1968 disappearance of Jax Beach boy

Missing persons flier for Jonathan Hagans includes an age-progressed photo of what he might look like today. (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Local police are partnering with a special task force in hopes of uncovering new evidence in the missing persons case of a 3-year-old boy who disappeared in 1968.

The Florida Times-Union calls the search for Jonathan “Jon Jon" Hagans the oldest missing persons case in the state. The little boy went missing while on a family trip with his family to Jacksonville beach on June 11, 1968.

The Jacksonville Beach Police Department has partnered with Bringing the Lost Home Task Force to help solve the mystery. And, the newspaper reported, the case has special meaning to the Tallahassee Police Department and others in the capital city. Recently, the police agency's Special Victims Unit welcomed to the force Jon Jon, a bloodhound puppy named after the missing boy.

The child's younger brother, Joel Hagans, is a member of the Tallahassee Board of Realtors, He wanted to help Tallahassee get a “scent K9” to help other families find their missing loved ones.

Investigators initially thought Jon Jon drowned. Now that the case has been reopened, investigators will review the case file and theories around his disappearance.

A team of Florida investigators and scent evidence specialists will be working with Jacksonville police.

“Since everyone is home now, it’s a good opportunity for our people to think and look to help this family out,” said Paul Coley, a former FBI Canine Operations Specialist and founder of Scent Evidence K9.

Also assisting in the investigation are David Merrick, Florida State University Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Wayne North, Overwatch Risk Solutions consultant, Roger Strecker, Ternion Risk Management CEO, and Paul Martin, a forensic archaeologist and human remains detection specialized K9 training owner.

Anyone with any information about the case is asked to call the Jacksonville Beach Police Department at 1-904-270-1661.