In the past 24 hours there have been significant updates in the search for a missing man in Benson. New surveillance camera photos have been confirmed by his parents to be their missing son. They show him walking in Downtown Benson about two hours before he disappeared. Cole, a 22 year-old electrical worker from Live Oak, Florida, was last seen by his two friends on the morning of Friday, November 25th.
Benson Police Chief Kenneth Edwards said a primary focus of the investigation has been to determine the last known location of Cole. During the early stages of the investigation, surveillance footage was obtained that depicted Cole and his acquaintances at a convenience store in Mt. Olive between 11:37pm and 11:50pm on Thanksgiving night, November 24th.
However, investigators were just recently able to locate relevant video, taken from a surveillance camera at a business in Benson, which showed two people, appearing to match the general descriptions of Cole and his friend, walking through a parking lot between East Church Street and East Main Street, at 1:10am on Friday, November 25.
Chief Edwards said the video was submitted for technical enhancement purposes, and was returned to the Benson Police Department on Wednesday. On Thursday, the video was shown to the parents of Cole Thomas, who agreed that the two people pictured appeared to be their son, and one of his co-workers.
With the discovery, police announced Friday the last known confirmed location for Cole is now believed to be the parking lots between First Citizens Bank, First Federal Bank, and BB&T Bank on the 300 block of East Main Street in Benson at 1:10am on Nov. 25th.
Surveillance videos were examined at these locations early in the investigation, and again after this video was located, but the motion detection camera systems they utilize did not activate from the subjects walking by.
“We remain committed to finding Cole Thomas, and to reuniting him with his family, and we will use this new information as one of our investigative tools, to reach that goal,” Chief Edwards said. “We continue to ask anyone that may have information about this case to contact us at 919-894-2091, or by email at email@example.com.”