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State Police Following Up On Tip In 18-Year-Old Missing Person Case
Updated October 23, 2015 7:56 AM
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(FERDINAND) - Indiana State Police will be searching a Ferdinand lake after they received a tip that the body of a missing Perry County boy could be found in the lake.

Ricky Thomas was last seen on November 6, 1997, but ISP Sgt. Philip Hensley is cautious about raising anyone's hope on finding Thomas' body in the lake.

Hensley says the dive team has not been scheduled yet.

Thomas, who was allegedly home alone at his home in Bristow. Neighbors last saw him around 1 p.m. on Oak Ridge Road walking to his cousin's house a mile away. He was with his two hunting dog puppies. Thomas never showed up and his dogs haven't been seen since either. His mom, Tina Martin, reported him missing the next day.

Tina and John Martin, Ricky's stepfather told authorities that they did not believe Ricky ran away from their residence.

Ricky had serious behavior problems and disciplinary problems at school prior to his disappearance and was kept at home as a result. His parents were supposed to be homeschooling him, but both of them were at work at the time of his disappearance.

ina and John both took polygraph tests in connection with Ricky's case, but the results have not been released.

There have been no arrests in Ricky's case, but his stepfather has been named as a possible suspect in his disappearance.

John did not participate in the search for Ricky. He and Tina are now divorced. Tina now believes Ricky left of his own accord and will return home when he is grown, but police believe he met with foul play.

Ricky's father, Ricky Lane Thomas Sr., died in his Evansville, in 2000 as the result of a drug overdose. Foul play is not suspected in Ricky Sr.'s death and it is not believed to be connected to his son's disappearance.

He was not named as a suspect in his son's case, but they reportedly had a troubled and violent relationship and some of Ricky's family members suspected that Ricky Sr. was involved.

Ricky's case remains unsolved.

The investigation has been profiled on "America's Most Wanted" and his information is on record with the National Crime Information Center. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children also has Ricky's profile.

Information or tips about the investigation should be reported to the Indiana State Police Jasper Post at (812) 482-1441.

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