Her son would have been a junior this year, driving to school, dating his longtime crush and hanging out with his best friends.
As the years have passed, Christina Dickus has imagined what her little boy would look like growing up. She gets choked up imagining how different life could have been.
Blake Dickus was 10 when he and his stepmother, Chynna Dickus, 26, were murdered in his father’s Franklin home July 24, 2006.
In the seven years since, police have continued investigating the case. They still get calls with tips or information every so often. But the calls have slowed, and most of the information police get is old and already has been looked into and ruled out.
But Christina Dickus is hopeful this year will be different.
Two Franklin Community High School students created a public service announcement about the case that’s being played online and at Canary Creek Cinemas. And the city recently created a crime tip reward fund, named after Blake, which will allow the city to offer a reward of up to $25,000 for information that leads to a conviction in the case.
“I’m hoping to see that this is the year that they find the person who is responsible,” Christina Dickus said. “We just need to get this case solved.”
Police continue to investigate any new information that comes in and have three detectives and two retired Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers who work on the case, Franklin Police Chief Tim O’Sullivan said.
Last year, the department added Sgt. John Borges as an investigator on the case. Borges was police chief when the murders were
committed in the Branigin Woods neighborhood. The hope was to bring in new energy and a fresh look at the case, O’Sullivan said.
Investigators have continued following up on any new information or leads that come in and have started a new review of the first 30 days of the investigation, Borges said.
Since September, the department has gotten about 10 tips or new pieces of information that investigators have looked into, he said, but none has been the piece of information needed to solve the case.
Borges said he and the rest of the police department have never forgotten the case. Officers repeatedly are asked by residents if the murders have been solved yet, he said.
“All of us would say it is our first priority. It is a case that remains very near and dear to us,” Borges said.
What investigators still need is the tip that will help solve the case, and they believe someone has that information.
Borges wants residents to think about the people they know — friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances — and look for any strange behaviors or patterns, such as nervousness, irritability, changes in sleep patterns or more usage of alcohol, drugs or tobacco. That type of behavior is common after a crime but can repeat around the anniversary of the crime, Borges said.
Even if people don’t think the information is useful to police or think it is already something police have looked into, they should still call, O’Sullivan said.
“A lot things, people say it’s probably nothing, but it might not be, and it might be the thing we are looking for,” O’Sullivan said.
If someone is still thinking about a piece of information or something they saw seven years later, it’s likely something police want to know about, Borges said.
Year after year, Christina Dickus and her family and friends do all they can to remind the public of the case, from a memorial car show in Blake’s honor to being involved in the creation of the city’s crime tip reward fund.
Her hope is that whoever knows what happened to her son will finally speak up. Any piece of information could be important and could help solve the case, she said.
“I pray, I hope, I beg for them to come forward with any information to help us solve this case,” Christina Dickus said.
“I know it won’t bring my son back and it won’t bring Chynna back, but it will at least take the person off the street so they can’t harm another person again.”