The surge of hope returns every time the phone rings in the vienna home of Billy Viscidi's parents - the hope that the 12-year-old boy, who has been missing for almost a week, has been found.
But so far, the dozens of phone calls have brought nothing but disappointment for Burton Viscidi, his wife. I. Grace, and their other three sons. For then, the lazy days of a suburban summer have been replaced by a treadmill of anxiety-filled hours and sleepless nights.
William E. (Billy Viscidi was last seen by his family early last Tuesday after breakfast when he walked down his driveway at 503 Princeton Terheated toward Nutley Street, a main road cutting through the middle of Vienna then walked toward Interstate 66.
That afternoon, a boy fitting his description was seen by a woman at the McDonald's restaurant at 3195 Old Lee Hwy, accompanied by a young muscular black man. Since then, more than a dozen reports by persons who thought they saw Billy have come into the Vienna police station but none have panned out.
"The only thing that's keeping us going is that we have a lot of friends," Burton Vicidi said yesterday. "They've been coming over and keeping us occupied."
Viscidi, who is a broadcast technician for Voice of Amerca, and Grace, who a computer programmer for the CIA, have stayed home from their jobs since hearings of their son's disappearance. "I don't know when we'll go back to work. It just depends on what the police turn up," Viscidi said.
"We're getting very little sleep, maybe four or five hours everynight," he said."It's hard to just lie in bed and not think about it - once we're awake, we get up. That's usually about 6 a.m. Then one of us gets in the car and goes out and drives around.
"We just keep hoping we'll catch sight of him," the elder Viscidi said as he sat in his living room. There were wrinkles in his forehead that were not there last week. He cut short a stay in a hospital for kidney stone removal to be with his family after Billy disappeared.
"I'm just thinking of my boy," Viscidi said. "I've not really thought about my own physical well-being."
For the past five days the Viscides' telephone has been ringing constantly. Most often the calls have come from concerned friends and neighbors but there have also been some vicious crank calls, Burton Viscidi said. "My wife and I try to get to the phone before the boys. We don't want them to hear that."
The waiting and wondering have been especially hard on Billy's three brothers. "Friday I went to summer school but I didn't do very well," said 16-year-old brother Steve. "I just kept thinking about him. Finally I came home and a friend and I went looking for Billy ourselves. We just went walking around the streets."
Before Billy Disappeared, he was spending the most of his summer with his brothers Steve, Kenney, 10, and Larry, 14. "We're really upset but we're trying not to think about it," Steve said.
Billy and his brothers are very close, their father said. "Billy's a real quiet boy. He doesn't have too many friends. He's bright, he likes to work with statistics," his father said. "He's very serious and hardly ever laughs. I just hope he's able to cope with this, whatever happened."
The FBI may be called in this week to help with the investigation, according to Sgt. Joe Tavares of the Vienna police, who is leading the investigation. Police Friday called off the search for the boy but are continuing to pursue all leads in the case.
"The next few days, we'll just wait and cooperate with the police trying to keep ourselves occupied," Viscidi said.
"Every time we wake up in the morning we just hope this will be the day Billy shows up."