WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A new conclusion in a missing persons case by police given on the exact 25-year anniversary of a Wichita Falls man’s disappearance gives a glimmer of hope to his family that answers may someday come.

While not a breakthrough, the determination that foul play was involved in Keith Mann’s disappearance from his Fountaingate apartment a quarter-century ago allows police to focus and concentrate their efforts to solve this mystery.

May 10, 1997, a Wichita Falls family’s world turned upside down.

“When we woke up that morning, we didn’t think anything was going to be going wrong but as the afternoon went on and Carrie came into town and called us and said she couldn’t locate Keith we just started putting all of the pieces together,” Keith Mann’s stepmother Debra Mann said. “There was a car from the dealership that he worked at was near our house and we just kind of figured he left it here for a reason but he’ll be back soon he knows he’s coming over today so everything will be fine but we just kept waiting.”

Debra and Keith’s father Gregg have continued to wait and wait, for 25 years. Which has made it hard to hold onto hope that they will one day see their son again.

“As the years go by it just doesn’t look like the case is he’ll still be alive,” Debra said. “We try not to lose our hope on that but because we are Christians that’s helped us through.”

After countless hours of investigating, interviews, and polygraph tests, Det. John Laughlin said in newly released information, they’ve been able to rule out several scenarios and have come to the conclusion Keith did not voluntarily go missing.

“In times past there was always the hope held out that we would find Keith that something had just occurred maybe some kind of mental crisis, that we are unaware of or undiagnosed and that he just wandered off and we would find him,” Laughlin said. “But I think as I’ve worked on the case and reviewed the previous investigator’s casework that they did, we’re to the point now that we suspect that foul play was involved.”

With this new information, Laughlin thinks they are that much closer to being able to give the family answers.

“Having a laser focus on this aspect of the investigation will certainly help develop any leads that may be there and follow-up on them,” Laughlin said. “So, instead of being spread out and going many different directions, we will be going in the same direction. I think there are people in this community or were in this community at the time of Keith’s disappearance that know.”

Until they finally have the answer to what happened to their son, the Manns won’t forget him and won’t stop getting his story out there in hopes of someone coming forward.

“In order to find him, you have to,” Greg said. “I feel that way. I’m not going to keep quiet about it until I do find my son.”

For more details on this case, click here.