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Divers Search Lake Near Ferdinand For Teen Missing Since 1997

Newtown Lake southeast of Ferdinand late Wednesday afternoon.  Divers searched the lake after receiving a tip that a missing Perry County teen's body may be in the lake.

Newtown Lake southeast of Ferdinand late Wednesday afternoon. Divers searched the lake after receiving a tip that a missing Perry County teen’s body may be in the lake.

FERDINAND (NNDC) – Indiana State Police and local dive teams searched Newtown Lake Wednesday in hopes of finding the remains of a Perry County teen who went missing nearly 20 years ago.

13-year-old Ricky Thomas Jr. was last seen by his stepfather back on November 6, 1997 in Bristow, but hasn’t been seen since.

Last month, Indiana State Police at Jasper confirmed they had received a tip that his remains were in a lake southeast of Ferdinand; that lake is Newtown Lake which is the Town of Ferdinand’s backup water source. The tip resulted in ISP getting permission from town officials to search the lake.

Dive teams concluded their search at the lake mid-afternoon. Officials with ISP Jasper have not released any information on if Wednesday’s search turned up anything new in the case, nor if and when a subsequent search of the lake will take place.

Back on November 6, 1997, Thomas was supposed to go to his cousin’s house but family members say he never arrived. In the following days and weeks, hundreds of people searched the area for Ricky but to no avail.

Ricky Lane Thomas, Jr.

Ricky Lane Thomas, Jr.

Earlier, a detective with ISP at Jasper said he thinks Thomas was met with foul play. the last person to see him alive was his stepfather.

ISP says Thomas was supposed to meet a cousin in Bristow. The two were planning to go to McDonald’s in Tell City. His cousin told ISP she and Ricky talked on the phone that day between 1:30 and 2:00PM.

At first, ISP though Ricky may have runaway, but attention quickly turned onto his stepfather. It has been reported that there that Thomas and his stepfather had a “violent history at times.”

Indiana State Police says the case remains open and is continuing to ask if anyone has any information about Ricky Thomas’ disappearance, please call the Jasper post at 812-482-1441.

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