Seach continues for missing Tuskahoma man
Monday, February 5th 2001, 12:00 am
News On 6
By By Kandra Branam
McAlester News-Capital & Democrat
TUSKAHOMA â€” Family members continued their search this weekend for an 18-year-old man missing since his pickup truck was found wrecked off a rural road Monday afternoon.
Family members of Jeffrey Ben say he was last seen at about 1:30 Monday morning when he left his uncleâ€™s house on Nine Pines Road, presumably headed for his own home near Clayton in Sardis. His truck was found a few miles from Tuskahoma off Nine Pines Road with a dent in the bumper, his cousin Michelle Garrison of McAlester said.
Since then, hundreds of searchers have hunted for signs of Ben, covering a five-mile radius of mountains, woods and river by air, horseback, foot, four-wheelers and even jet skis.
â€œThe boy is gone without a trace,â€ Garrison said. â€œWeâ€™ve looked everywhere for him and have come up with nothing.
â€œWeâ€™re just sick about it.â€
Pushmataha County Sheriff Elven Flood said investigators concluded the ground and air search of the area Thursday night and are now concentrating on the phone tips flooding his office.
â€œWe probably received upwards of 100 phone calls from people in the area that have information, that claim to have seen this boy,â€ the sheriff said.
He said heat-sensing detectors on search aircraft failed to detect any signs of Ben, nor did search dogs. Now, the sheriff believes a vehicle may have picked him up; a neighbor near the site of the wrecked truck reported hearing voices early Monday morning.
â€œItâ€™s a mystery,â€ Flood said. â€œIf someone did pick him up, we have no idea why heâ€™s not presented himself.
â€œWe donâ€™t have anything to suggest foul play, but Iâ€™m suspicious because heâ€™s gone.â€
Ben is described as slender and of Indian descent, about 6-feet, 3-inches tall and weighing about 150 pounds. He was last seen wearing a white shirt and black Carhart jacket with a hood, blue jeans and chuka lace-up boots.
He has short brown hair and brown eyes, Garrison said.
Anyone with information about Ben is asked to call Floodâ€™s office at (580) 298-2475 or his personal toll-free number at (800) 235-1921.
â€œSomebody out there knows something,â€ the sheriff said. â€œWe just have to find that person.â€
Â©McAlester News-Capital & Democrat 2001
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