Caleb Diehl and a Mistake

Caleb Diehl is missing from Nocona, Texas.

He was reported missing by his mother on April 1, 2015.  Reportedly, he borrowed a truck from his employer, Ricky Dale Howard, on March 30th to use for work at another part-time job.

Police have not disclosed or are unsure how, but that truck was returned to Mr. Howard on April 1.

Still, young Caleb has not been seen.

The family believes foul-play is involved and is pleading for persons with information to contact authorities.

The news articles on Caleb describe the eighteen-year-old as a "white male with blue eyes. He is 6 -feet 2-inches tall and 145 pounds."

Two of the four news services covering the story (in Wichita Falls, TX  & Bowie, TX) ran their articles with the following photo of Caleb.



Does that look like an 18-year-old to you?

Are the braces just throwing me off?

I was curious so I did some digging.

This much better representation of Caleb photos was posted online by his sister, Courtney Diehl.


His appearance is quite different, eh?

Interesting to note that the "braces" picture was not included in the collage.

So, how long ago was that first picture taken?

According to this post from a friend's social media account, Caleb had his braces removed in November.

NOVEMBER OF 2013!

So this picture, being used to accompany emergency info, may be more than two years old?

Wow.

My message to the media?

Please use updated pictures for missing person stories. If the public is supposed to be looking for a missing 18-year-old, don't give us a historical image of a teen in braces.

If a photo is not immediately available for the story, publish what is accurate and then include the current photo later. If a correction needs to be made, do it.

I should not be able to access mistaken details about Caleb's case almost 60 days later.

I can't imagine the pain that Caleb's family is going through in dealing with a loved one who has vanished.

They should be able to depend on the press to release and maintain accurate information.

One thing is certain: The public can't help find someone, if they don't know what the person looks like.

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I hope you all have a good weekend. 

28 comments:

joeh said...

At least specify the photo is 2 years old and the person no longer has braces.

messymimi said...

Another reason, even if your children are like mine and often don't want their pics taken, to maintain a current photo and keep it where you can find it. You never know when you might need to use it, sadly.

Bijoux said...

I always thought the family gave police the photo they wanted used?

Pat Hatt said...

That is pretty piss poor journalism. But then again, maybe it is all they could get, although I doubt it considering there are other pics online.

Slamdunk said...

@Bijoux: Excellent point and one that I hope to be able to address soon.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Good point. Hope he is okay.

Mark Koopmans said...

I used to be a daily beat reporter - and thankfully never had to do a missing kid report... but this seems like writing 101... the editor (if not the writer) should have made sure they had the most recent picture...

In any event... prayers and hope he makes it home soon.

ladyfi said...

How heart-breaking for his family.

Bob G. said...

Slamdunk:
I agree.
There is NO reason to NOT post as recent a photo as possible, given the technology of today.
Perhaps the media wants to play on sensationalism...it HAS been know to happen.

Good call.

Stay safe out there.

Jax said...

You really do make a great point! If I was to pass by the "updated" Caleb on the street, I wouldn't even think twice. He looks nothing like the 2013 photo. In fact, the hair style isn't even similiar and I'd say he "manned" out a bit. You think it was intentional? Hmmm...

Jax said...

Did my comment go through?

Gloria Baker said...

This is a dad story dear, about the family is curious usually the family give some last pictures. Maybe they give any picture and is not intencional .
I think the first pic like this taken to college or other.
the last pictures are different are selfies like all teenagers make.like my daugther or my son .

Stephanie Faris said...

OMG how horrible. They could probably have found newer photos on his social media accounts than 2013. Usually media outlets do just that.

A few months ago, someone forwarded a message on social media from a woman whose husband hadn't returned home from work for an entire week. What sucked is that I never heard a follow-up on it. I went back to look for the post but couldn't find it. I worry about these people, even when nobody mentions them again.

Momma Fargo said...

Uh. Yeah. Agree with you. Wonder if the parents gave that pic to the police. That is usually how we gave out information to the public about missing kiddos. Geesh.

Anonymous said...

The outdated picture looks like a DMV picture - probably from his most recent drivers license renewal. Can make sense. It's a smaller police department and was probably the picture they had the quickest access too (obviously they have access to the DMV database). I wouldn't be so quick to blame the family for not providing an updated picture, especially if this is a DMV pic - the police provided it. Media should update their stories though when more recent pictures were made available.

Tavia Turner said...

Caleb is still missing. Please keep praying for his family

David Buschhorn said...

Nobody *GAVE* that photo to the press. It's his driver's license photo (obviously) and it was certainly taken the day he got his license at age 16.

If any of us go missing, the photo that is distributed first is the one the police show to the press. Guess where they'll get that photo...

Either your most recent/ugliest mug-shot or your DL picture. But you won't get to choose :-)

Anonymous said...

It seems that most of the people agree that the best pic is a current pic. You should see the pics that have of inmates when they escape. Some of them are fifteen to twenty years old..they dont even get new ones when they get to a new prison..the old one is used. You should see my pic on my ID at work..they insisted on taking it five minutes before I was driven to the hospital because my face swelled up and I looked like someone who died..swollen eyes and purple and my whole face swelled with hives. That was in 2009. I still have the same ID but now I have long hair dyed darker and dont look as fat as in the pic. I have inmates coming up to me and asking if I have an older sister in oklahoma..they never think its me...until I open my mouth. Police and prisons should pay the extra dollars for new pics every year...with digital it should only take one day to do a whole prison

Anonymous said...

It seems that most of the people agree that the best pic is a current pic. You should see the pics that have of inmates when they escape. Some of them are fifteen to twenty years old..they dont even get new ones when they get to a new prison..the old one is used. You should see my pic on my ID at work..they insisted on taking it five minutes before I was driven to the hospital because my face swelled up and I looked like someone who died..swollen eyes and purple and my whole face swelled with hives. That was in 2009. I still have the same ID but now I have long hair dyed darker and dont look as fat as in the pic. I have inmates coming up to me and asking if I have an older sister in oklahoma..they never think its me...until I open my mouth. Police and prisons should pay the extra dollars for new pics every year...with digital it should only take one day to do a whole prison

Anonymous said...

This is a sick article, you are talking about how they should have used a different picture?! I knew Caleb and I don't think anybody really gives a crap at what the picture looks like! He is missing and we want him to return home! Don't be so damn judgmental and think about how your words could really upset someone. You may not know him, but there are plenty of people who love and care about him and this is just wrong to say!

Anonymous said...

You don't understand how rude and hurtful some of these comments are.
As his ex-girlfriend, I am still in love with Caleb and would do anything to have him back safely. Ricky Dale Howard (or should i say scumbag of this earth) is 100% fully responsible for this crime, and he deserves to be questioned until he spits out the truth, and then beat to death. Ricky deserves nothing on this planet except going to hell to rot there forever.
I love Caleb Ray Diehl, and my love will never end. My life goal is to find out what happened to my love, and to let Ricky burn in flames.
Ricky, if you ever see this, GO FUCK YOURSELF. If I ever see you, you better run.
#BringCalebHome
I love you Caleb.

Anonymous said...


Out of curiosity I googled Ricky Howard because I hadn't in months and came across this blog. I have to agree with what you said and some of the bloggers are correct. No one even asked us for a current picture, the police just used his drivers license and then when Missing and Exploited children came that was the picture they choose -his 16 yr old drivers license he had just turned 18. We had to tell them we wanted a differen picture and so they just ended up adding a current picture along with the old one. Honestly we couldn't understand why.
Much has happened with this case just recently, although we are no closer to finding out what happened to Caleb. Our greatest hope is that we are wrong and the sick person who is the number one suspect in Caleb's disappearance did not actually do what the authorities suspect and Caleb is found safe and sound but if what they believe is true then we hope the monster comes to the realization that his life as he knew it is over and he confesses and tells us where my son is. Thank you Tami Diehl

Dixie chick said...

Somebody needs to do something about this ...this is terrible ! The police seem like they could care less cause there's no evidence ! Who threw the cell phone away that was found smashed ? It's pretty apparent who's most likely guilty! I hope Ricky Dale Howard pays for this ..somehow even if someone took justice into their own hands ...he's a suck fuck and he's still out there ..there's no justice and he's bound to do it again ..he's a sex offender pedophile! !! Rot in HELL

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that you're writing about a picture that was taken when he was 16 when people normally get their drivers license. Yes there are recent pictures on social media BUT this has been all over social media. Being as I have known the family for most of my life and went to school with Calebs siblings, i am friends with most of his family on every social media platform and I can tell you that not one day goes by that I don't see a new posting or even an old posting shared and commented on with pictures of Caleb. I have even personally went to his own social media pages to look at pictures to get a glimpse of what he might look like now. In all honesty, this infuriates me. Instead of writing about a "mistake" that really wasn't a mistake, say a prayer for him and for his family.

Anonymous said...


It doesn't matter he still looks the same... I knew him before he disappeared and now still looking for answers..

Anonymous said...

Looking at all the old comments here and realizing that this kid may never come home. Why do things happen like this? Why this kid? Why now? Why? You can only receive so many answers.

-k

Anonymous said...

Praying for you and your family.

molly said...

I think now, November of 2016, the entire photo deal is moot wouldn't you say? if he is still with us, he has aged more, if he is gone, the last shot is what folks who may have seen him will remember. I read missing stories and hope all turn out well..but sometimes they dont and we have no idea what this will become. I pray he is alive and well somewhere..