HAMPTON, Va. — It’s been a little more than a year since 4-year-old Codi Bigsby was reported missing from Hampton.
But advocates in Hampton Roads and across the nation continue to search for the young boy, that includes “We Are Codi’s Voice” organizer Nancy Strickland.
Strickland said she’s followed Codi’s story since he first disappeared. She said his story struck close to home, as she has two young grandkids herself.
“He’s 757’s child. You know, he is the community’s child now," Strickland said.
On Saturday, 13News Now sat down with Strickland at the playground at Buckroe Pointe Apartments, the complex where Codi lived.
“My heart hurts. It does, my heart hurts. Just knowing that this is the area that Codi went missing from," Strickland said as she looked around the apartment complex.
For months, Strickland has planned to make a permanent tribute for the young boy at the playground of the apartment complex where he lived.
This week, Strickland received what she called “the best news of her life.”
That news – she got approval for Codi’s tribute from the Buckroe Pointe Apartments property owner.
“I mean, I broke down and cried," Strickland said.
Strickland said the tribute will include a flower garden, an engraved bench, and a plaque with Codi’s picture on it.
She said she came up with the idea for the bench because the apartment’s playground doesn’t have a place for parents to sit and watch over their children.
“Children go missing, the get snatched up, they get kidnapped everyday,” Strickland said.
Moreover, Strickland said she wanted a place where people can come to sit and pray for the young boy.
“Also give a place for the residents, the community a place to come and sit and to say a prayer to make the community safer and to bring little Codi home safe," she said.
Strickland said the plaque will also have a poem written to him.
“It’s going to say, ‘Codi, although we never met, no matter where you are, we truly never part. Forever in our hearts, we love you from all over the world. Reported missing January 31, 2022,'" Strickland read.
While it's been more than a year since Codi went missing, Strickland says she hasn’t given up hope that he’ll return home safe.
Right now, Strickland says she’s still working to raise money for Codi’s tribute.
If you'd like to donate to the GoFundMe, you can do so by clicking here.