Missing boy's mom: 'You just wake up and you think it's a dream'

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. -- Shelby Wright has been missing for nearly nine years, but his mother is still holding out hope that the mystery of his disappearance will be solved.

Investigators are once again digging up evidence in the cold case, and they'd like to give the Wright family some much needed closure.

Shelby was caring for his great grandmother over the summer of 2004 while attending summer school. The then 14-year-old's grandfather and grandmother went out of town in late July and Shelby was gone when they came home.

Family members said it is very unusual for Shelby not to be in contact with them and the boy didn't have a history of running away.

Detectives are now looking for new evidence at several properties where Shelby was last seen.

Lisa Wright has spent nearly a decade looking for her son.

"I don't know, you just wake up and you think it's a dream," she said.

Even years after the computer whiz mysteriously vanished, Lisa said the pain of losing him has not diminished.

"He's my only child," she said. "I'm not going to be a grandmother. I wont be be able to see him get married."

Investigators recently used cadaver dogs at several places Shelby had been spotted. They also dug up areas in 2008 in an effort to uncover new clues.

Two of the people who were with Shelby before he disappeared are now dead, and Lisa has her own theory about what happened.

"I think Shelby saw something that he shouldn't have seen. It was more of a drug connection," she said.

Still, she hangs on to hope that someone will finally come forward and make sense of the mystery.

"They're just going to say, 'I'm gonna tell.'" she said. "You know, I want them to come forward and just say something, even if it's anonymous. I just want him home."

Lisa has long since come to grips with the fact that her son is likely dead, but she still wants closure and she wants to know what happened.

"It's a feeling, I just don't ... it's just the things you feel. I don't feel it anymore, it's been a long time," she said.

The state prison system is handing out playing cards that feature missing persons like Shelby, and police hope they spark someone's memory about the disappearance. Anyone with information about Shelby is asked to call the police.