tampabay.com

Missing boy's mom found dead

By JOHN FRANK
Published September 9, 2006


LEESBURG - The mother of a missing toddler was found dead Friday at her grandparents' home, Leesburg police said.

Melinda Duckett reported her 2-year-old son Trenton missing Aug. 27 from his bedroom at a Leesburg apartment complex.

Police said her body was found Friday at the home of Nancy and Bill Eubank, Melinda's grandparents who live on Rainbow Boulevard in the Villages of Lady Lake. Authorities were still investigating the cause of death.

The location is 10 miles from where Trenton was last seen.

Eubank told the Orlando Sentinel earlier this week that she spent several hours with Trenton and his mother on Aug. 26, a day before he was abducted. Calls to the Eubank home Friday evening were not immediately returned.

Melinda Duckett told police she put Trenton to bed around 7 p.m. and had two men over to the apartment to watch the movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. When she checked on him at 9 p.m. Trenton was gone, she told police.

Police think the boy was taken out of the bedroom window, which had a ripped screen.

Trenton's disappearance has sparked a nationwide search. Earlier this week, Mark Lunsford, the father of slain 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford of Homosassa, helped Trenton's father, Joshua Duckett, put up fliers.

Melinda and Joshua Duckett, both 21, split in June. Melinda had custody of Trenton and a temporary restraining order against her estranged husband.

Police said the discovery of the body is a major development in Trenton's case, but they would not say how it affects the investigation.

Earlier in the day, police issued an unusual news release dispelling misinformation about the case after they received hundreds of phone calls.

"We have heard rumors of a reported confession and of finding Trenton," said Leesburg police Capt. Steve Rockefeller. "Let me stress, the rumors are completely false; we have no confession, and Trenton has not been found."

Investigators continue to ask for the public's help. Anyone with information about the disappearance can call the Leesburg Police Department at 352 787-2121.

John Frank can be reached at (352) 860-7312 or jfrank@sptimes.com.