A Tacoma man recently questioned about the disappearance of Teekah Lewis 13 years ago is not considered a suspect, police said.
Detectives searched John William Black’s house in the 800 block of South Hawthorne Street on July 22 but did not find anything tying him to the abduction of the 2½-year-old girl last seen at a bowling alley in 1999.
“Nothing significant was found to indicate his involvement,” police spokesman Mark Fulghum said.
Contacted Thursday by The News Tribune, Black said, “There’s only one person that can judge us all, and that’s him up there. I’m innocent, and I wish people would believe that.”
Detectives decided to interview Black after learning he had pleaded guilty to a 2010 child-luring case at a different Tacoma bowling alley. In that case, Black motioned to a 3-year-old girl and told the child her mother was in the car. The girl’s father intervened. Black was sentenced to a year in jail.
“They looked at him based on things he’d done,” Fulghum said, adding that detective Lindsey Wade “continues to look at people of interest who fit some kind of a connection.”
Wade inherited the case in recent years and has pursued several tips and ferreted out similar child-luring and abduction cases, including Black’s.
Police searched Black’s home and property with a forensics team and cadaver dogs. Nothing was found that tied him to Teekah’s disappearance.
Black said Thursday he had not heard from police about the results of their investigation, and that he would like them to return the belongings they took during the search.
“I’ve been waiting for them to call me back and let me know what the heck is going on,” Black said. “… They have my cell phone number.”
He previously told The News Tribune he didn’t know the girl and had nothing to do with her going missing from the now-defunct New Frontier Lanes on Center Street.
Teekah was last seen the night of Jan. 23, 1999, playing a video game while her family bowled nearby.
Staff writer Alexis Krell contributed to this report.