In a peaceful duck pond at Santa Monica’s Douglas Park, Deborah Elkins reminisced about the good times she shared with her children. “My kids came to this very pond and fed those ducks,” she said. However, her life has taken a turn for the worse in the past two years. Elkins’ eldest son, Dane, has been missing for that duration, leaving her with a sense of loss and pain that words can hardly describe.
Elkins recounted that during the beginning of the pandemic, Dane posted a video on Snapchat, claiming that he was being followed by government operatives. Feeling delusional and threatened, he said that he wanted to come clean. “How do we know what food we’re supposed to have? And what food we’re not supposed to have? What to drink, etcetera, etcetera,” Dane asked in the video. He also informed the family that he would be driving around in his car and staying with friends, which he did for a while until he experienced a psychotic break and began living in his car.
The family was unaware of Dane’s condition until December 2021 when his car was found near Castaic with everything traceable in it, and he had vanished. The police have been limited in their investigation, and Elkins has had to rely on a social media army of people to assist in the search for her son. “You can feel everybody wanting this nightmare to end for our family,” Elkins said of her social media support.
Although there have been many sightings of men believed to be Dane, Elkins is not entirely sure that her son is still alive. However, she remains hopeful and relies on hope to get through each day. She has set up a special phone number for tips on her son’s whereabouts and a Facebook page called “Searching For Dane Elkins.”
Elkins hopes that if she cannot see her son in person, someone who sees him will send her a picture so she knows he is okay. Dane Elkins is 24 years old, 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighs 170 pounds, has brown hair, and green eyes. If he reads this, his mother had this to say: “Dane, we love you. We miss you. Please let us know you’re safe. We think about you every single second of the day.”