In 2003, thirty-four-year-old Lisa Shuttleworth was known as a “cool mom.” She lived in Aiken, South Carolina, with her son, Ryan, and also had a daughter, Krystina– who primarily stayed with her grandparents because they liked to “spoil” her.
So, it was just Lisa and Ryan navigating life together most of the time– which allowed the mother-son duo to forge a very close relationship.
“She was always the life of the party. She was loving and caring, and smart. She was just awesome,” Ryan said to Dateline.
But, at just nine years old, everything unexpectedly changed for him.
The fall morning of September 3, 2003, began just like any other day. Lisa woke Ryan up early, cooked him breakfast, and took him to school. Then, in the afternoon, she was supposed to pick her son up from the bus stop.
Once Ryan stepped off the school bus that afternoon, though, he realized that his mother was nowhere to be found. So, he headed home by himself.
“I walked to the house, and there were all the cars in the driveway. Everything was normal, but the door was locked,” Ryan recalled.
Still, he did not read too much into the strange occurrence and just went across the street to a friend’s house. There, Ryan figured he would wait for his mother to get home.
Facebook; pictured above is Lisa
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