Police have no idea what happened to 22-year-old Sargent Micek more than two decades ago. He vanished from a local bar in 1989 and has never seen or heard from again.
While police believe he is dead, his mom still holds out hope he'll come home. In an effort to find out the truth, investigators have gone to great lengths. Norma Doyle has no gravesite where she can mourn the loss of her son. In fact, she doesn't even know what happened to him.
There is a sign in her yard, decorated by an artist. The sign reads:
Remembering Sargent Scott Micek Born Jan 29, 1967 Last Seen May 5, 1989 May GOD be with you wherever you may be
Those words mean so much to Doyle. That sign is where she goes to honor his memory. It's the only place she has.
"I think I don't want to believe that he is gone," says Doyle who has kept the same phone number for the past 24 years in the hope that Sargent will call it one day.
Sargent was 22-years-old. He was a jokester with a big personality.
"I have a picture in that album where is kissing a turkey's butt," said Doyle with a laugh.
He was a social guy, who liked to have fun. He frequented the bars in the area. On the night he disappeared, May 4, 1989, he went out to the bars with friends. He started his night around 10 p.m. at the bar Cap 'n Cork, which is now Corby's.
Sargent eventually ended up at Bears Den Tavern which used to sit along Michigan Street in South Bend.
At around 3 a.m. he called his mom. "That's when he said, 'Come pick me up.' And I said, 'No, bring the cab home. I'll pay for it,'" said Doyle, "I got up to go to work the next morning, and he still wasn't home."
And he never came home. Sargent had disappeared. Police were called and they started investigating. But witnesses were largely uncooperative, and police suspected they knew more than they were saying.
"He just disappeared, totally disappeared," said now retired police Sergeant Al DeRoo, "I tried following up on every lead I had and contacting friends he knew. On one occasion I ran a polygraph test on an individual, and he passed it."
DeRoo investigated the case for years. One of the tips DeRoo received indicated Sargent had died and was thrown into a wine cellar in a home on Cushing Street.
"We dug up that property from one end to another, and we came up with bricks that was where the wine cellar used to be but nothing indicating there was a body or anything," said DeRoo.
Another tip indicated Sargent was murdered, his body placed in a 55 gallon barrel, and that barrel was floated into the quarry near Capital and Jefferson and shot with bullets until it sank. DeRoo sent divers into that deep quarry in the 90s. "They found no barrels of any kind," he said.
And there were a lot of other strange tips. One indicated he was shot because of drugs, put in plastic bags and buried under a porch in Mishawaka. Another tip – his body was put in a crawl space in South Bend.
But DeRoo said many of those tips were too vague to investigate and nothing turned up. DeRoo is convinced Sargent is dead.
Doyle, on the other hand, holds onto hope he'll come home one day.
"Maybe he is out there. Maybe somebody hit him over the head. Maybe," said Doyle. "Everyone says, 'Mom, you're dreaming.' But I don't care. It's my dream."
If you have more information about what happened to Sargent Micek, call Crimestoppers at (574) 288-STOP or 1-800-342-STOP.
You can also go online at
Police believe there are people out there who know what happened.