FLORENCE — Brenda Childers wore a Superman shirt Monday in honor of her brother Robert Deshawn "Shawn" Childers.

"Everybody called him Superman because he was such a big guy," Childers said, while she and her daughter Holana Pennington looked over photos of him.

They said they think about Shawn daily, but he'll especially be on their minds today, which is the third anniversary of the day they discovered he was missing.

Authorities continue to investigate the case. Since it remains under investigation, they cannot publicly comment on specifics and whether they suspect foul play, although family members believe that was involved.

"It's frustrating," Childers said. "It's been three years. I don't want people to forget that he's a human being and that he existed. To erase him off the face of the earth, I'm not going to let that happen. As long as I'm alive I'm not going to let anybody forget."

Shawn Childers was 51 when he was reported missing after leaving his Lauderdale 141 residence in the Cloverdale community, authorities said. Reports indicated Childers last was seen walking north on Lauderdale 141.

Sgt. Matt Horton, an investigator with the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office, said he is meeting with the family this week.

"We're not done working on it," Horton said. "We're open to any and all help with the public and community. If someone feels like there's something that wasn't looked into, obviously we'd like to talk to them.

"The plan is to go back through the case to see if we're missing something and see if (we) can develop new leads."

Authorities said Shawn Childers was wearing blue jeans, a green long-sleeve shirt and brown cowboy boots when he last was seen. He was described as having brown hair, blue eyes, 6-foot-2-inches tall and weighed 240 pounds.

Anyone with any information about Childers is asked to call the sheriff's office at 256-760-5757, or any local law enforcement agency.

Pennington said the family remains in limbo while seeking a resolution to the case.

"What I think about is, there's no body, there's no funeral," she said. "How can we come to amends with it?"

She added, "I hope he didn't suffer."

Family members said Shawn Childers lifted weights and always was a large man, but he had broken his neck during a wreck and doctors said that would make him particularly vulnerable to any sharp blows to the head from that point forward, even to the point of death. In addition, he had a bad knee so he would have difficulty walking long distances.

Pennington said they went to her uncle's house after he was reported missing. His bedroom smelled like ammonia and was ransacked. In addition, a mini-refrigerator in his room was missing.

She said her uncle's medicine was found in a field down from his house nearly a year to the day after his disappearance. She said a search crew had scoured that field shortly after he disappeared and no medicine was found at that location at that time.

Pennington said her uncle habitually carried his wallet and a comb when he'd leave the house, but had left those behind.

The family remembers him as a good and creative person who had a knack for repairing things and had a sense of humor.

"He was a good tinkerer," Pennington said. "He could fix anything."

"He'd help you out any way he could," Childers added.

bernie.delinski@timesdaily.com or 256-740-5739. Twitter @TD_BDelinski


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