“It hurts. It takes the breath out of you.”

For nine years, Michael Workman has worried about his missing son who was 15 when he disappeared on Aug. 2, 2013.

Fredrick had gotten into some trouble, and was in a youth facility in Des Moines. “I would travel from Davenport to Des Moines once a week to do his family therapy sessions.” Michael said.

Every time Michael visited, his son would talk about taking off. This worried him.

“You know, with his disability – he had a learning disability – if he was ever angry at anybody, you never leave him unattended at all, never,” Michael said. “The day that he disappeared they let him outside all by himself. They went out to check on him, and he was gone.”

Michael left work to go to Des Moines and try to find his son “and bring him home where he should be. Where any child should be, is at home, because they look to use for guidance and they look at us for protection and we need to be there.”

Michael and his girlfriend searched at the time. “I was handing fliers out at the state fair gate, by myself,” Michael said. “I didn’t know how to get anything set up to where we could do a group search. I didn’t know how to do any of that. I did what I did, the way I knew how.”

None of Fredrick’s family – his siblings, his mother, his grandmother – have heard from him. In the meantime, Michael stays in touch with the U. S. Marshals Services in Des Moines. The case remains open. The U. S. Marshals have established a $5,000 reward for information that leads to Fredrick’s whereabouts.

Fredrick took off without a cell phone.

“It hurts. It takes the breath out of you,” said Michael, who remembers his son as a boy who enjoyed football, after-school programs, carnivals, fishing and Boy Scouts. Now he remembers the last words he heard his son say: “Dad, I love you.”

And there’s another poignant memory. “I had a song before he went missing,” Michael remembers. “I played it at my dad’s funeral and I took it to him. I told him this song is from me to you. I’m always there, just a phone call away.”

Michael remembers Fredrick, Michael and a counselor listening to the Rascal Flatts tune “I Won’t Let Go” on a little CD player.

Now, after nine years, no one in the family has heard from Fredrick.

“It’s kind of like he’s just up and vanished,” Michael said. “I just want some answers. I don’t care where they come from. I  want to know where he is, how he’s doing.”

“I’m never going to give up.”

If you can share some information to bring peace to Fredrick’s family, call any local law enforcement or the U. S. Marshals at 515-284-6240.

To hear Rascal Flatts’ “I Won’t Let Go,” click here.