WACO, Texas — We all remember our first car and the many memories made behind the wheel. But for one Central Texas mother, her search for a 1985 Chevy pickup truck means more than just a sentimental connection.
“The day she turned 16, she was gone… all the time," recalled Maggie Norton.
The Central Texas mother remembers the day her then-14-year-old daughter, Courtney, came to her with an AutoTrader magazine and said she found her dream truck.
Courtney had saved up money from babysitting to buy the 1985 Chevy pickup truck. So, Maggie gave her blessing, and the truck sat in their driveway until Courtney turned 16.
“Courtney was 5'2 and about 100 pounds, so you had this little-bitty girl riding around in this boy truck. She wore cowboy boots and shorts, and everybody knew that truck and, you know, it fit her personality perfectly," Maggie said with a smile.
“She would take it mudding, and we would get calls at, you know, 11 o’clock at night. ‘Mom I’m stuck.’ She was constantly getting the truck stuck in the mud. We towed her probably 15 times the first year she had it.”
After some time, Courtney ended up trading in that truck, but she never forgot about it.
“She talked about it all the time," Maggie remembered. "She wanted it back, she wanted it back, she wanted it back.”
Time went on, and Courtney grew up. But on April 25, 2020, everything changed.
“Someone was knocking on the door quite loudly. I went and answered the door, and it was the Burleson Police Department. They told me that they found her under the bridge at Sycamore School Road and Chisholm Trail Parkway in Fort Worth," Maggie said, choking back tears.
“Later we found out that it actually happened the night before and she was out there all night and they didn’t find her because they couldn’t see… nobody found her because they couldn’t see her and there wasn’t a whole lot of traffic in that area. Everything was closed down due to COVID. So as soon as the sun came up someone called and… and they called the police.”
Courtney was just 28 years old.
“It’s devastated me. I don’t know...I don’t know how to put into words," said the grieving mother. “I had her when I was 18-years-old. I grew up with her. I’m not... I’m not used to being an adult without her. So… I miss her.”
Now Maggie is on a mission to reclaim a piece of her daughter by finding that 1985 Chevy.
“When I think of Courtney, I think of that little girl in the camo baseball cap, blue jean shorts and cowboy boots blasting country music, going down the road in that truck. That’s my girl… and I just want to find it. I don’t care if it’s rotting. I don’t care, I’ll fix it, whatever. I just want her truck. I feel like that’s a connection to her, and I don’t have many of those," she said.
The 1985 Chevrolet C10 short wheel base pickup truck was traded in at Toby's Autos in Waco and later sold in February 2010. It was last registered in Waco in March 2011. The registration expired in March 2012, and the truck hasn't been registered since.
The last known license plate is AS76744. The VIN number is 1GCEC14H3FS145050.
Maggie knows it's a long shot, but says she wants the truck back, no matter the condition.
“I think it’s out there. I feel like it’s out there and… I just want to get it back if I can… I want to be able to drive her truck," she said. “I don’t care if it’s running, I don’t care if the transmission is blown, I don’t care. I just want to get it running so I can drive it to the store, drive it around and, you know, have that piece of Courtney, and I’ll never get rid of it.”
Maggie is asking anyone who may have seen the truck or who may have information to contact her at (817) 715-9604. The Patrice Adams Foundation has offered a $500 reward for any information that leads to the recovery of the truck.
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