A 12-year-old cold case might be heating up, thanks to the help of a nonprofit search and rescue group. Texas Equusearch has agreed to look into the Damon Bonds case.


Bonds was last seen on March 27, 2004. Police found his truck abandoned at Delong Lake Park in Anchorage a few days later, his keys, cell phone and dog still inside.


Initial search efforts were unsuccessful, although Anchorage police said they do believe foul play was involved in Bonds’ disappearance. His sister, Courtney Broussard, agrees. She said her brother never would have walked away by choice.


“I immediately thought foul play,” Broussard said. “He was in a heated custody dispute with his ex for his infant son and they were the last ones to see him.”


Broussard said her family never stopped looking for Bonds. She recently heard about Texas Equusearch through a friend. The group has been involved in more than 1,300 cases worldwide, including the high-profile searches for Natalee Holloway in Aruba and Caylee Anthony in Florida. Broussard said having the group agree to look into her brother’s case gave the family new hope.


“I never would have imagined that, 12 years later, that there would be something that they could do for us and they’d be willing to pick up this cold case, but they really have taken the ball and run with it,” she said.


Texas Equusearch isn’t actively looking for Bonds yet. A flier is making the rounds on social media and Broussard said she was instructed to send Bonds’ dental records, fingerprints and a DNA sample to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs).


Police spokesperson Anita Shell said the department has worked with affiliates of Texas Equusearch in the past. She said officially, Bonds’ case remains open.


“We owe that to the family, we owe that to the community and we owe it to the missing person and so we’re going to work this case until we can’t work it anymore,” Shell said.


Anchorage police are also hoping the renewed attention to the case might spark someone’s memory or that someone with information who wasn’t in a position to speak out 12 years ago might now be able to come forward. If someone does have information about Damon Bonds’ disappearance, they can call Crime Stoppers to remain anonymous at 907-561-STOP (7867).


Broussard said her biggest fear is she’ll never find out what happened and the person who hurt her brother will walk free.


“I still talk to him every day,” she said. “I think about him every day and for me, I want to know the answers and I want there to be justice. If he was taken from us by someone, I want them to pay for that.”


KTVA 11’s Bonney Bowman can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.


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