LISBON, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Tuesday marked four years since four-year-old Rondreiz “Junior” Phillips disappeared without a trace from his home in Claiborne Parish.

His family called 911 around 11:30 a.m. on April 5, 2018, telling officers that Junior was last seen playing outside in front of their home in the 100 block of Howard Road in Lisbon. His mother, Shelia Phillips, was inside and her boyfriend, Nicholas Gilbert, was working on his truck nearby. They told police they thought Junior was at his aunt’s house next door, but when they went to check, he was not there and he has not been seen since.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children created and released an age progression photo in 2021 of what Rondreiz “Junior” Phillips would look like at age seven. (Source: NCEMC)

Local law enforcement and volunteers searched for days. Divers searched nearby ponds. The Louisiana State Police joined the investigation, and later, the FBI.

Junior’s stepfather took a lie detector test within days of Junior’s disappearance so he would not be looked at as a suspect.

“I took a lie detector test. I volunteered to do it because all these different folks trying to point the finger,” Nicholas Gilbert said at the time. 

Shortly after Junior’s disappearance, his aunt, Joann Cole, showed us a makeshift memorial they made outside where he last left his toys.

“I just want to see the baby. Is he alright or what? Somebody has to know where the baby is at. If he was missing ’round here, somebody would have been saw something,” Cole said at the time.

The story soon became complicated for Junior’s family. His mother was arrested on drug charges a month later. She originally plead not guilty and was out of jail for the one-year anniversary of his disappearance.

“I want to let him know I have not gave up on him. That I miss him, I love him,” she said at a balloon release in his memory.

It took a toll on his family.

“Barely sleeping, barely eating. You can think right. It’s not a normal life,” Junior’s sister, Shaquntal Phillips, after a court appearance for her mother in 2019.

She asked for someone to come forward with information.

The Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s office joined volunteers from the community to search countless hours for Junior. A $10,000 reward is offered for any new information.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children created and released an age progression photo in 2021 of what Rondreiz would look like at age seven. He would have turned eight in November 2021.

People from his community continue to hold hope his case will be solved.

“He will not be forgotten. That somebody somewhere will give some information and for the community to know that it’s still hope that Junior will be found,” Chaplain Terry Willis said during a volunteer search effort in 2019.

Any new information can be given to the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s office at (318) 927-2011.

Along with the Louisiana Clearinghouse at LA-SAFE: 1-800-434-8007 and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.