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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Washtucna teen missing for almost two years to be highlighted on Investigation Discovery

UPDATED: Fri., March 5, 2021

John Riser was 16 when he went missing from Washtucna, Washington, in May 2019.

Many newspaper articles, TV spots and Facebook posts later, his grandmother, Lee Mealone, has not received a single lead.

“Nothing. Absolutely not one thing,” Mealone said. “Other than the threats from scammers, like, ‘We’re holding him hostage. He’s really sick. He needs you. Send us $10,000.’ ”

Airing 6 p.m. Monday, an episode of true crime show “In Pursuit: The Missing” on the Investigation Discovery channel will examine the boy’s disappearance, according to an Investigation Discovery channel news release.

On May 16, 2019, brown-haired, blue-eyed Riser was on his way to find his birth mother, who had recently contacted him, the release said. The 5-foot-7 teen was last seen hitchhiking on Highway 395.

Mealone said she feels “very, very certain” that he is alive. The boy who ran track, and loved motorcycles and skateboarding, was good at hiding, she said. He had connections in the Tri-Cities and she thinks he may have gone there.

“I refuse to give up,” Mealone said. “I want him to know that we love him. I want him to know we forgive everything that happened. Contact us. Just let us know you’re all right.”

Investigation Discovery is encouraging viewers with any information about Riser’s location to call 1-833-3-PURSUE or to submit tips online at Operators online or over the phone will accept anonymous tips, the release said.

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