KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - When teenage runaway Lara Snyder bumped into Scott Davis in the Cumberland County Justice Center lobby, she didn't recognize him.
"You probably don't know me," Davis recalled telling the 15-year-old girl who'd been missing for months and recently returned home to her mother's Crossville, Tenn., residence.
But as Davis spoke, the teen's eyes grew big.
"I know your voice," Davis said Lara told him. "You're the guy who did the show on me on the Internet. I watched it while I was running. I didn't think anybody cared."
By day, Davis works for the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office as the sex offender registry compliance officer.
By night, he runs an international online series in an attempt to gain exposure for missing children throughout not only Tennessee, but the world. The program, "The Missing," broadcasts on the Internet via YouTube and is shared with similar sites, including Facebook.
Currently in its second season, Davis' show began airing in January 2009 and garners visitors from 90 countries, including the U.S. and Australia.
His garage is his studio. His medium: a TM700 Panasonic HD camera.
Davis, who independently films each episode, works with state and federal law enforcement agencies and with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He also works with the host of "America's Most Wanted," John Walsh, who presents the introduction of each episode Davis produces.
"I believe it's a calling," Davis said. "A platform to do something with the talents I've been blessed with. What people don't understand is when the antennas are dropped, the satellite trucks are moved and the local news doesn't put pictures up anymore, they are still missing and their family still needs help. This is to give those families hope."
Davis said about 90 percent of the cases he features come from the national center's database.
The other 10 percent, he said, come from phone calls from distraught parents, such as Rene Brown of Crossville, whose niece and nephew were allegedly abducted by their mother Dec. 22, 2010.
Brown said she contacted Davis about a situation involving her brother James Everitt, formerly of Crossville. His ex-wife, Crystal Thwreatt, allegedly fled with their children, Trust, 3, and Journey, 8.
"I called Scott because I wanted to feel like I was doing something," Brown said. "Someone might happen to watch the show on the Internet. We're in Crossville, my brother now lives in Florida and we as a family feel like we can't do anything. It's like our hands are tied."
Davis said he's getting ready to present a show on the Everitt case.
So far Davis has offered 28 episodes, averaging two cases per show. He's featured about 100 missing people, 90 percent of whom are children.
Of that 100, about a half-dozen have been found safely, he said.
Most of those cases involved family abductions, he said, like the case of Catalina Serna, a 1-year-old reported missing from Fayetteville, N.C., on June 11, 2010.
Catalina was taken by her father, Fabian Serna, but safely located after the toddler's case aired on "The Missing." The girl's father was arrested.
But there are other cases, like that of the McStay family, which have not yet had a happy ending.
Joseph McStay, 40, his wife, Summer, 43, and their two children, Gianni, 4, and Joseph, 3, disappeared Feb. 4, 2010. Concerned relatives contacted authorities, who checked the family's California home Feb. 15.
A vehicle belonging to the family was found abandoned near the Mexican border. The McStays' home is in Fallbrook, Calif., about 45 miles north of San Diego.
No contact with friends. No contact with family. No vacation plans.
"The whole family just disappeared," Davis explained on a recent episode of "The Missing." "Hopefully we can bring these children and their parents home safely."
Like in Lara's case.
Now 17, Lara is one of the luckier ones, Davis said.
The last that Davis heard, the teen was living in North Carolina -- with her mom.
On the Internet: http://www.themissing.tv