Private Search For Missing Man Set For Saturday

Local citizens are hoping to provide another set of eyes in the search for missing Florida man, 22-year-old Christopher Cole Thomas.

A group of area citizens are banding together Saturday morning to try and help the Thomas family find some answers.

“It started with six or seven volunteers and now it’s blossomed into a lot of people telling us they will be there,” said Amanda Byrd, who is one of the many volunteers. “We wanted to do something. This family needs some answers and we want to do what we can to help them.”

The group will begin their task at 8 a.m. at the Benson Singing Grove.

“I have some maps of Benson that I’ve made copies of and I will pass them out,” Ms. Byrd said. “Then, if we have enough, we might even go in groups and divide the area up inside Benson and in the areas around Benson if we have enough.”

When asked about the inability to find any trace of the man who went missing the night after Thanksgiving, Ms. Byrd said she’s spoken to Benson law enforcement officials and has been told it couldn’t hurt to have someone else look.

“I talked to Benson Police Capt. Greg Percy and he said they’re not infallible,” she said. “He told us they could have missed something and it won’t hurt for someone else to take a look.”

She credits the police for their efforts.

“It’s not that they didn’t do a thorough job, we just want to do all we can to help with the search,” Ms. Byrd said. “I met Mr. Thomas (Cole’s father) a couple of weeks ago and it is really hard on him.

“He’s here in a place where he doesn’t really know anyone and he’s away from home. So we’re trying to help him as best we can.”

Ms. Byrd hopes some of the volunteers will take the search along Interstate 95 as well as the area surrounding Benson.

“We hope a few will go along Interstate 95 and search there,” she said. “Every little bit will help.”

Mr. Thomas was reported missing by two traveling companions after he pulled his car into Benson then came to a stop at an intersection and ran away.

He has not been seen, except by grainy surveillance video in a nearby parking lot, since the incident occurred.

“If you can’t come out and help us please remember us and the Thomas family in prayer,” Ms. Byrd said. “They can use all of the help and prayers they can get.” Courtesy The Daily Record