'Hoping that there’s an end to my nightmare:' Skeletal remains leave questions about missing man

Nieko Lisi missing poster
Posted at 5:01 PM, Dec 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-05 13:34:44-05

Update: After the story aired, law enforcement reached out to Monica Button confirming the remains were not her son.

Skeletal remains have been found in Williamson County, and now a mom wants to know if it's her son — Nieko Lisi.

Lisi, 18, was last seen on Flintlock Drive in Franklin in 2011.

"I’m just in a place where I’m tired. I’m just tired, and I want to bring him home," his mom Monica Button said.

After missing five years, his dismantled truck was found in Nashville in 2016. Button has been searching for him all this time.

Then on Saturday, she was notified by law enforcement that human remains were found by a hunter near where Nieko went missing.

"Just hoping that there’s an end to my nightmare," Button said.

For perspective, Clovercroft Road area connects Franklin to Nolensville.

According to the Williamson County Sheriff's Office, more remains were discovered Monday in a wooded area. They're believed to be the same person, according to the medical examiner.

"I’m hanging by a string waiting for the phone to ring to let me know if is this him or is it not, and that’s the hardest part," Button said.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Middle Tennessee State University's Forensic Anthropology Search and Recovery Team are assisting with the investigation.

Dr. Tiffany Saul said they're trying to pinpoint if the person was a male or female, how old they were at time of death, and their height to name a few.

"When you're talking about identification of skeletal remains, it’s a team effort, so we work with medical examiners. We work with forensic dentists or odontologists to make an identification," Saul said. "It’s very scientific. It’s very analytical, and it does take a lot of time."

Meanwhile, Button is patiently waiting to find out if it's Nieko.

“Whether it’s my son or not, somebody is going to have someone come home to them.”

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