Jeramy Burt’s family recently gathered in Pocatello for an anniversary, but it’s not one they wanted to celebrate.
Jeramy, who grew up in American Falls, was last seen in Boise on Feb. 11, 2007 — 10 years ago. His family and friends marked the date by sharing memories, releasing balloons and holding a minute of silence.
Sheryl Burt, Jeramy’s mother, calls his disappearance a nightmare she would never wish on anyone.
“I think of Jeramy every day, and usually several times throughout each day,” she said, adding that she keeps a photo of him under her pillow because it helps her to feel closer to him. “We talk about our memories often, sometimes sad ones and sometimes funny ones.”
Sheryl doesn’t believe her son is still alive because he hasn’t contacted them. But she hopes to be able to find him one day and bring those responsible for his disappearance to justice.
“We want to thank everyone that has kept our family in their thoughts and prayers during these past 10 years,” she said. “You have helped us to continue to never give up!”
Boise police, who have continued investigating Jeramy’s disappearance over the years, say they’ve never been able to find any information leading to his whereabouts. They do consider him an endangered missing person and they believe foul play may be involved.
Jeramy, who joined the U.S. Navy and served during the Gulf War, operated Integrity Roofing in Boise. He had a nearly 4-year-old daughter when he disappeared. He was 33 years old at that time.
“He was so excited and proud to have his daughter, Mackenzie, and his life was changed forever when she was born,” Sheryl said. “He called her his ‘perfect daughter.’”
Jeramy and his wife, Kim, divorced shortly after their child was born. But they remained devoted parents. And they continued to live together off and on up until the time of his disappearance, according to the website for East Idaho Cold Cases Inc., which aims to raise awareness about unsolved crimes and missing people.
When Jeramy went missing, he and Kim were living in the same residence along with their daughter and Jeramy’s father, Van Burt.
Jeramy and his daughter had gone to American Falls for the weekend of Feb. 10 and 11 and then driven back to Boise. Kim had flown to a conference in Las Vegas, according to East Idaho Cold Cases Inc.
“Jeramy and Kim spoke on the phone that evening around 10:00 PM, then Sheryl Burt beeped in at 10:10 PM to see if he had made it back safely,” according to East Idaho Cold Cases Inc.
Later that night, Jeramy left his daughter in his father’s care while he went to visit a friend to discuss hunting; he had recently purchased a new bow. His father noted that Jeramy showered and put on a nice shirt and Levis before he left around 10:30 p.m, according to East Idaho Cold Cases. He was never seen again.
“While in Las Vegas, Kim began receiving strange texts and hang up calls from Jeramy’s cell number. He texted her he was leaving to start a new life. She texted back and forth with Jeramy, and became suspicious it was not Jeramy texting her,” according to East Idaho Cold Cases. “She could not get Jeramy to answer the phone. Upon her return to Boise, she discovered her red Mercury Cougar missing and decided to file a missing persons/stolen car report with Boise PD. It appeared Jeramy did not take any personal possessions with him, other than his cell phone.”
Cowboys riding in a remote area of Owyhee County discovered the missing Mercury Cougar a few months later, according to East Idaho Cold Cases. The vehicle had been burned.
Police say a thorough search of the car didn’t turn up any evidence as to Jeramy’s whereabouts. Investigations and interviews over the years have yielded the same results.
Sheryl said she’s never believed that Jeramy sent the text messages to Kim. Rather, she thinks they were sent to keep police from looking for him right away.
Sheryl, who noted that they hired a private investigator to help with the case and have continued to spread the word about Jeramy through Facebook posts, hopes anyone with information that may be helpful to her son’s disappearance will come forward.
As the 10th anniversary of Jeramy’s disappearance approached last month, police urged anyone with information to contact them.
“If you have any information, about the (Jeramy) Burt case, no matter how insignificant it may seem, we urge you to contact Boise Police Detectives or call Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS, leave a web tip at 343COPS.Com or use the ‘P3 Tips’ app,” according to a news release.
Crystal Douglas, founder of East Idaho Cold Cases, also sent out a call for information as the anniversary approached.
She first met Jeramy’s family in June 2015 when they were conducting a search of the area where the car was discovered.
“You could still see where the ground was burnt and melted pieces from the car were on the ground eight years later,” she said. “It was a powerful and humbling moment for me, and it reaffirmed the fact there is a story behind every missing person and a very real family grieving and praying for answers. I wish someone would come forward for them and tell the truth. They know exactly who they are.”
Sheryl says Jeramy was a good person who cared for his family and friends, and she hopes to see him again one day.
“He made mistakes in his life, but he made them right with everyone during his lifetime,” she said. “And so I know that his (conscience) was clear and that he is watching over his daughter and our family and that I will see him again someday.”