3-year-old vanished 17 years ago Thursday

3-year-old vanished 17 years ago Thursday (Image 1)

Thursday marks the 17-year anniversary of the disappearance of Lucy Meadows.

The three-year-old Goodlettsville girl was last seen at the Rivergate Mall on July 25, 1996.

Lucy's mother, Yong Meadows, reportedly told police she got out of her car, went around to open the trunk, and the girl vanished without a trace.

A massive search ensued, lead by the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and the Goodlettsville Police Department.

Harry Bell was one of the lead investigators for the case from the very beginning. He retired from the Goodlettsville Police Department two years ago.

“We had a large group of people that worked on that case. When all the leads were coming in, we had a hotline set up for them to call in with information,” said Bell.

In 2004, the case took a turn when a family member claimed Lucy never went to the mall.

Police said a 12-year-old family member claims seeing Lucy at her home the night before her disappearance, and said he saw her lifeless body.

At least two adults were present, including Lucy's mother, according to the relative. The witness told authorities both adults appeared to be panic-stricken.

However, police were unable to prove the family member's accusations.

“We didn't get a lot of cooperation out from the mother, and that's about all I am going to say about that,” said Bell.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children released an age progression picture of Lucy as a 20-year-old adult.

Bell, who is currently a Goodlettsville City Commissioner, hopes if Lucy is still alive she will see this picture and find her way back home.

He also has a stern message for those involved with Lucy's disappearance.

“We're still working on the case. It's still open,” said Bell.

Anyone with information on Lucy Meadows whereabouts is urged to call the Goodlettsville Police Department at 615-851-2236.

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