Eighteen-year-old LeRyan Nicholson disappeared April 12, 1998. His mother and sisters searched for him for 15 years, not knowing that he was buried as a John Doe only a few miles from where they lived.
LeRyan Nicholson's grave at Bordeaux Cemetery April 24, 2013 in Nashville, Tenn.
Sylvia Nolan, mother of LeRyan Nicholson, cries as she describes the years she has spent searching and waiting for her 18-year-old son April 19, 2013. Police recently confirmed that her son was a murder victim buried as a John Doe.
Candace Williams tattooed her brother’s name on her forearm and keeps his high school proof photo on her mirror. She and her sister never gave up searching and found a match to their missing brother on an internet database, a John Doe who had been murdered and the body burned, one day after he had gone missing.
Sylvia Nolan, mother of LeRyan Nicholson, closes the curtains while the sun still shines in the early evening May 16, 2013. She stays busy every minute to keep her mind off her son and goes to bed shortly after work, retreating to the comfort of sleep.
LeRyan Nicholson's body was found burned and wrapped in a carpet in the morning hours of April 13, 1998 on this dead-end of Mary Street in North Nashville. Nicholson was reported missing on April 12, 1998 at the age of 18. He was buried as a John Doe in the Bordeaux cemetery until his identity was discovered in 2013.
Sylvia Nolan struggles with grief weeks after finding out her son was dead. Nolan goes to work, cooks and cleans obsessively and goes directly to bed most days.
Sylvia Nolan cleans her house from top to bottom each evening after work May 16, 2013.
Sylvia Nolan moved in across the street from her son's high school several years ago with a goal of finding him May 16, 2013. "Sometimes i look over there and say I'm sorry," she said turning to the building.
Danny Hubble, right, with Metro Public Works carries the John Doe gravestone away after replacing it with LeRyan Nicholson's named gravestone at Bordeaux Cemetary May 30, 2013 in Nashville, Tenn.
Sylvia Nolan stands in a prayer circle with metro social services and metro public works workers while her son’s gravestone replaces the marker reading John Doe (#19) at Bordeaux Cemetary May 30, 2013 in Nashville, Tenn.
LeRyan Nicholson's gravestone is replaced at Bordeaux Cemetary May 30, 2013 in Nashville, Tenn.
Sylvia Nolan attends Sunday morning church services April 28, 2013 in Nashville, Tenn. Church has been a source of solace and connection for Nolan and one of the few places she finds release from grief.