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Frozen In Time

Updated: Nov 12, 2023

When a person goes missing, if you are the loved one of a missing person it seems that time just stops and everything around you continues. You feel a sense of being stuck with no direction to take. You only hope that at some point time it will start to move again. Today’s story we talk about a child with a mother that was left behind.

First, I would like to thank Cheryl Reynolds, David’s mother, for speaking to me. I will say it has been a long time coming to being able to touch base with Cheryl. When I started Evaporate, she was one of the first people I reached out to. Almost a year later and we were finally able to connect, and I am very grateful she gave me her time. Cheryl was a delight to speak with and although she would crack a joke from time to time, I could hear her pain as she spoke about David, recalling all those years ago before her son disappeared.

David Reynolds was born in Massachusetts on September 7, 1988. The family settled in Fitchburg Massachusetts. David was the second of four children but the first boy to Cheryl. David had an older sister but when his younger brother Robbie was born David was ecstatic to have a brother. David and Robbie were inseparable. David grew up in a single parent household. David’s father was not involved in his life, but Cheryl did her best as single mother of four. David was an intelligent young boy and excelled in school. David had a great relationship with his siblings and his mother. He helped around the house and would even babysit his younger brother and sister so his Cheryl could have some free time. Sometimes he even insisted she needed a break and to go out and enjoy some time with friends. Being a teenager and recognizing that your mother needs a break, and you volunteer to step in, is a big thing. It shows how much he cared for his mother and valued the quality time he got to spend with his siblings. When David wasn’t helping his mom, he was helping disabled children. One of Cheryl’s friends had two sons who were in wheelchairs and David became a PCA to help take care of one. He even went out of his way to take the boy on a camping trip to a Metallica concert as his last wish. David had a big heart and so much love to give to the world.

David was interested in everything but in his younger years joined the boy scouts. He enjoyed all the activities and the learning that came along with it. Later he would be only 3 badges away from advancing to eagle scouts. David was also intrigued by the arts. He was a great artist that mainly stuck to drawing. Cheryl told me that there was a point in time where he drew the whole family on his bedroom walls in a caricature art form. It was very impressive. David’s drawings were featured in the Fitchburg Art Museum. However, his art pieces were stolen during an art show and were never recovered.

In the early 2000’s David was in middle school, in which he was described as a very good student who excelled in his studies. He was very smart, but he also had to maintain his good grades to be able to play sports. In 2004, David was attending BF Brown school on Elm Street, near downtown Fitchburg. David flourished in sports. He played Hockey, football and was even part of the wrestling team. It seemed that David was able to play anything and was an all-around athlete. David was part of the school football team and although David enjoyed many things, football was one of his favorites to play. On September 1, 2004, David planned to attend football practice after school, the players normally suited up to practice and the group would make the short walk down to Crocker Field, but David never made it, because fate had other plans.

On the morning of September 1, 2004, David and his siblings were up and ready for the day. The new school year had started, and David was back, playing football. Cheryl had seen David that morning, as he gave her his earrings and necklace and told her he had football practice after school. That was the last time Cheryl saw her son. That image that would be engrained in her mind forever.

The day came and went but David didn’t return home that evening after football practice which was a little odd but not alarming. Cheryl had a laxed approach to parenting. She trusted her children and they were all well behaved. She allowed them to spend nights out, on school nights as well When David failed to make it home no one was too concerned. It wouldn’t be until the following week when David’s birthday came and went that Cheryl had a gut feeling something was wrong. She contacted the police to report her son missing on September 7, 2004.

Cheryl learned many things from the Fitchburg police department. Most importantly, David attended his classes that day, but the most shocking detail was that David missed football practice. This was very uncharacteristic of him; he always went to his practices as he loved football and wouldn’t want to miss out on the sport he valued most. In the coming months Fitchburg Police told Cheryl they believe her son had run away with an older man, Matthew Michaud. Cheryl knew Matthew as he was a past roommate of her cousin’s. Matthew and David had known one another for many years because of this. She estimated David was around 10 or 11 years of age when the two first met each other. Cheryl is unsure how the police obtained this information but somehow, they surmised David had skipped town with Matthew and they fled to Boston. She also learned that Matthew was gang affiliated but shocked because she had zero idea about any of this activity. It is not believed that David was into any of this activity. Although Cheryl allowed her children the freedom they wanted, she never thought David was into anything he shouldn’t be, “not even going to parties”. Sure, David was a teenager, but he was more into sports and video games. Most importantly to note, is David and Matthew did not attend school together. Matthew at the time in 2004 was 22 years old, making him 7 years older than David. That is where the trail of information ends. There have been no sightings of David or better yet Matthew. David has not used his information to obtain a job or ID.

What happened to David Reynolds on September 1, 2004? We know he made it to his classes the entire day but failed to show up to his football practice, immediately following the ending of school. We also know he planned to go to practice as he gave his mother his jewelry, he was wearing that morning. So, what could have changed in between that afternoon window? David did not have a license yet, a typical day after school David would either walk home or catch a ride on the bus. I wondered if he might not have been feeling good and just wanted to go home but no one saw him after school, walking or waiting for a bus ride. Of course, this was also when cellphones were just becoming popular, David did not own one which left no way to trace his movements. What stood out to me was the age difference between the two boys, once Cheryl explained how they knew each other that made much more sense, however why would the two be running around together that day, in the first place? They didn’t have the same circle of friends, they didn’t attend school together, which is what David did that day. Either David planned to meet up with Matthew right after school or Matthew showed up at BF Brown. When the final bell rang in the halls of BF Brown what happened to David? Note that BF Brown is now closed, it is now just a structure stuck in time. When I researched Matthew, I did find a missing person’s report was made on him but oddly enough it was made months earlier in 2004. Matthew’s missing date is listed as March 1, 2004. Why? If the police were told the two left together then the missing date would not be true. It is very difficult for me to imagine that if Matthew had gang ties, he has never been arrested or has never popped up anywhere since 2004. Odd. As much as I speculate this story of David and Matthew running away together, Cheryl believes in the police department as they have been kind to her, and David’s face is still being shared around. She does think the runaway detail might not be true because her son had no reason to run away from home, but she is grateful for the Fitchburg police department. She is also grateful to the national center for missing and exploited children. They never forgot about David, and they set up a meeting to meet with Cheryl and shared the age progression of her son. No matter what the truth is, she wants her son to come home but until he does, she remains frozen in time.

If you have any information in this case, please come forward. David has been missing for too long and his mother wonders everyday what happened to her son. Remember he was just a child.

If you have any information, you can contact the Fitchburg Police Department at 978-345-4355.

Or you can reach out to Cheryl Reynolds on Facebook. (Link below)


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Jul 27, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you for posting this. We all miss David. It's a sad story and I've heard the pain in Cheryl's voice as she's told me about it. I have some good memories of David, as we grew up together


Jul 24, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.


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