On June 11, 1969, Troy Andrews, an 18-year-old in his last year of high school in Auburn, Alabama, vanished, presumably in the dark, about a mile from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. To this day, no one knows why he might have vanished.
The neighborhood was quiet that night, with limited traffic and no lights as the Vanderbilt Apartments were transitioning from being a factory to being a housing complex.
But the staff of the Vanderbilt reported him missing in the morning. He would have turned 19 on June 13.
By that point, Montgomery police, who have jurisdiction over crime in Montgomery, responded to the call, “the Cincinnati Post” and the Washington Post. The office also reported police had responded to “lesser reports of absentpersons without identification at Vanderbilt,” according to the “Cincinnati Post” file. The AP reported that Andrews had allegedly been “reported missing” to three other police departments as well.
Thirty-five days passed, and Andrews, if he had not already died, was dead. He was an hour from death and two hours from death’s end, as he was found in an “airy and quiet” creek on June 25. But for years, investigators collected no new information in this case.
On Friday, with Andrews’ family in attendance, two police officers unveiled the what appears to be a homemade cabin, according to the Montgomery Advertiser, roughly 3 feet deep in the water. Inside, investigators found what is believed to be a 16-inch-by-15-inch Christmas tree, ornaments and other valuables, including what appears to be a handgun.
On Saturday night, Andrews’ close friend, Bill Parrott, showed ABC-TV’s “20/20” the cabin’s interior.
“It’s just kind of like he’s there and he’s with us now,” Parrott said. “Just seeing that cabin, it’s like, ‘Wow, we may never have that again.'”
According to the AP, the item considered of interest in this year’s update: Andrews’ Honda Civic, found in “a creek with about 90 percent interior of the car, including the engine block.”
“It came from the bottom of the creek and I believe that it was just tossed by a passing body on its way down and ended up in the creek,” police Sgt. Ron Macon told “20/20.” “It’s like saying, someone had a lot of time sitting on that car before it found its way down the creek.”
The Montgomery Advertiser reported that Andrews’ mother, Merle Andrews, cried upon seeing the vehicle.
“It’s just, to me, it’s probably like a little Christmas gift, knowing that Troy is going to be home in a couple of days,” she said.
In an interview with “20/20,” Andrews’ brother, Neal Andrews, said his father died in 2001. There was no family DNA test at the time of the disappearance, according to the AP. He said police told his brother about the reopening of the case.
“All we want is some closure,” he said.