ST. AMANT, LA (WAFB) - It has been four years since a mom in Ascension Parish has seen her first born. Monday, the skull found in St. Amant on Highway 429 was identified as her missing son, Robert Alexis, 47.
Alexis' mother says it will be two more months before her son's remains are released. She says what hurts most; her family passed by his body every day and never knew it.
"I just thought one day he would come home...if he could get home," said a tearful Christine Alexis. "But he ain't coming home. He's never coming home."
Alexis is a mother who's been through every emotion imaginable: sadness, fear and now grief.
Her son Robert was the oldest of seven children.
Sunday, hunters discovered a human skull in these woods on Highway 429. Alexis had a feeling it was her son. The feeling got stronger when detectives asked if she remembered what Robert had on when he was reported missing.
"I said 'of course I remember. I'm his mother'." She says she had gone through his closet and knew exactly what clothing was missing. "A blue flannel shirt was missing, his blue jeans, his brown hiker boots and his gold wristwatch on his left arm. He was left handed." Everything she named was found in the woods. "It was all there."
She describes the moment detectives told her the skull and bone fragments that had been recovered were Robert's.
"Like somebody took a fist and hit me in the chest. Took the air out of me...whole body goes to shaking. I knew it was coming, just didn't want it to be coming."
Robert had been missing since January 2008. His car was found in a ditch in the area and some witnesses reported seeing him walking down the same highway where his remains were found.
"Passed him every day and had no idea he was lying right there," Alexis said.
The woods where the remains were found are just minutes away from Alexis' parent's house. And the family had searched here before.
"His daddy and brother went out there and they walked all through there in the rain and cold. And they never seen nothing. And he was right there."
She says her son was so close to home, but never called for help. Something she says is out of character. Deputies found his cell phone inside his car.
Alexis says this is not closure because she doesn't know what happened to her son, and she'll never be able to ask him.
"I just thought one day he would come home."
Robert Alexis had two children: a son, 30 and a daughter, 13.
An account has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses at the Ascension Credit Union on Burnside Ave. in Gonzales. Ask for account #5205010.