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Northeast Oklahoma Mother Wants "More Accountability" Into Son's Disappearance and Death

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OTTAWA COUNTY, OK -

A mother says she was let down by Northeast Oklahoma investigators looking into her son's disappearance.  Last week, the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office told Tammy Moss that a skull and some bones recovered earlier this year belong to her son.

Moss has a painful reality.

"A mother should never bury their child," says Moss.

But Moss says she can't stop wondering if a series of "what if's" could have saved her son Eli's life.  Moss says her son loved nature, and would sometimes wander off into the woods for a day or two.  Moss says one of those adventures, around the end of June, was different.  According to Moss, two days had gone by without any word from Eli.

"He might have took off, but he was always with us," says Moss.  "He would always call us.  Asked for a dollar, or what we were doing, or who's doing this, or where's everybody at, or just to talk."

Moss filed a missing person report with the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office in June.  But she says authorities should have taken the report more seriously.

"To them it wasn't a missing report, he was just gone.  If you hear anything, you call us.  If we hear anything, we'll call you," says Moss.

Ottawa County Sheriff Jeremy Floyd says Eli's disappearance was never forgotten by his department.

"We collected statements, then we entered him into NCIC.  We took this case and we took it seriously.  We treated it just like we would on any case, especially when it comes to a missing person," says Sheriff Floyd.

About only a couple of weeks after Eli was reported missing, a skull was found, then four other bones were found on four separate days.  Police say all of the bones were found within about a mile from where Eli lived.  Officials waited for DNA and dental evidence before announcing last week that the bones are part of Eli's remains.

The Moss family believes Eli was killed.

"There's someone out there hurting other people, or can hurt other people.  We gotta get them off the street," says Moss.

But Sheriff Floyd says the public's safety is not at risk.  Floyd says this case is being called a homicide until evidence can prove there was no foul play.

Floyd says domestic and wild animals in the area that Eli's bones were found are making this investigation even more challenging.  Floyd says interviews that are part of this homicide investigation will happen a short while after people have had the chance to grieve for Eli.

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