David’s father, Fred West has had the same dream every day for 31 years.
“Just see us, you know, going out different places doing different things together. It would be nice,” says West.
When he closes his eyes, he sees visions of his first son, David.
“I was kinda overjoyed, you know, first son,” says West.
West was 22-years-old then. Now at 53, when he opens his eyes, his heartbreaking reality takes over.
“I pray. I pray a lot about this and I ask the Lord if he's still alive, if he's out there, that he be reunited with us,” says West.
On a cold December Day in 1980, his 19-year-old girlfriend, Vanessa Blockett was inside of her Newport News home. So were her sons, two-year old Frederick and 15-day-old David.
A mystery woman showed up at their door and claimed she was a social worker who was there to take the boys to a Christmas Party.
Vanessa believed her.
Hours later, someone found Frederick wandering alone in Hampton, but David and the mystery woman disappeared.
“My son is the very first tragedy that I’ve ever had in my life,” says West.
He has spent many years in and out of jail, drug related charges mostly.
And much like today, West was in jail when David was born.
Vanessa took David see West in jail. Just days later, the news of David's abduction hit the headlines. West begged authorities to let him out so he could search for David.
“So I was like anxious and wanting to get out, go look for him, but they just wouldn’t let me go,” says West.
Searches for David grew cold.
When West was released from jail, he and Vanessa tried to get through David's disappearance together. Instead, it tore them apart.
“We was kind of separating, going in different directions at the time when actually we should have been coming closer, but we was going in different directions,” says West.
Years later, at just 36-years-old, Vanessa died of a brain aneurysm. West believes, heartache, too.
“That was a tragedy that she had passed away the way she did,” says West.
He says his anguish over David's abduction fueled some bad decisions.
While he's a bit embarrassed that his son may see him behind bars, he hopes it won't keep him away.
“I wouldn’t want him to see me here, being locked up like this, but it's better for me to see him here than not to see him at all, you know,” says West.
His recent stint behind bars hasn't been all bad. In November, a sign of hope flashed across the television screen.
West has been watching every piece of our investigation to find his son.
NewsChannel 3’s Jessica Larche started digging into David’s case last year.
She spent months tracking down his brother Frederick who is a church elder now in Selma, N.C.
Police found the clothes David was wearing the day of the abduction. They were tucked away in evidence. We’ve even received the most promising leads about the mystery woman.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is teaming up with NewsChannel 3 to help find David, too. Each step is giving West faith that his son is alive to hear his message.
“All I want him to know is that I love him very much. It's not a day went by that I haven’t thought about you. If your mother was alive today, she'd be very happy and proud,” says West.
West is doing everything he can from jail to help us find David.
If you know anything that could help, please call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.