DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) -A specialized missing persons search and recovery group from south Texas joined the search in Duncan for 8-year-old Damion Davidson who went missing June 12.
A few volunteers from nationally recognized Texas Equusearch drove in Thursday and have been out searching and surveying the area since the morning. This search unit brings in a different perspective and refuses to give up hope in the search for a missing person, in some cases months on end.
Volunteers walked in and around the creeks to see what kind of area they are working with. Since the water has gone down, they've been able to see a lot more and dig deeper in areas where they couldn't a week ago. Their plan is to bring in what resources they have to help find Damion, and not leave any stone unturned.
Tim Miller is the founder and director of Texas Equusearch, which is a nonprofit organization that was started more than 16 years ago.
He formed the group to help find his own daughter after investigators insisted she was a runaway and would eventually return home. Miller says after 17 months, his daughter was found dead. They later learned she had been abducted and murdered. He says since his daughter's death, he's vowed to help other families are experiencing the same nightmare.
"I remembered every minute of that 17 months, and the helplessness, the hopelessness, the fear and being alone. I made a promise to God, Lord I'd never leave a family alone," Miller said.
Miller says they have a lot of work to do. Thursday, they were able to start digging in an area on the creek using equipment provided by Duncan Police.
Duncan Police Lt. John Byers says they've worked with Texas Equusearch in the past and were successful in locating the missing persons. Because of that, Lt. Byers says they're optimistic in the search for Damion.
"His team is experienced. They know the kind of areas to look for and to work in, and it might be something we've overlooked and it's a fresh set of eyes looking at an area that might have been through three or four times, but he'll say 'well, let's look right here,' and it might turn up, hopefully. And do a good recovery," Lt. Byers said.
Texas Equusearch has been involved in national cases like Natalee Holloway, who went missing in Aruba, and Caylee Anthony, the little girl who went missing in Florida. Miller says they've traveled to 38 states and eight countries to do searches. He says time and location is not their concern.
"Everybody asks, 'how long are you going to be here?' We don't know. We don't know until we feel as though we're not being productive anymore. We went to Aruba nine times on Natalee Holloway, and this is a lot closer than Aruba," Miller said.
Texas Equusearch has grown and has become a well-known search and recovery team that has had a lot of success. Lt. Byers says he is grateful that Miller and some of his team will be helping them.
"They are a nonprofit organization. They're coming out on their time. All volunteers, and we just appreciate everything they can do and put a new set of eyes on the search that we've done. And anything that we might miss, we're going to listen to everything that they have to say."
Miller says he never dreamed of how big Texas Equusearch has become. They have a lot of resources, and Miller wants to do everything he can to help families like Damion's.
"We always want families to hold on to that hope. And every day that hope gets smaller and smaller. Just hoping maybe we've got some resources that can be a small part of helping bring this to a close."
Miller says between 50 and 60 more members will be in Duncan on Saturday to help search. They are also working with another search group from Oklahoma that they have worked with before.
Miller says their group has been successful in locating more than 200 missing people.