Seach continues for missing Tuskahoma man

<b>By By Kandra Branam <br>News Editor<br>McAlester News-Capital & Democrat </b><br> <br> <br>TUSKAHOMA — Family members continued their search this weekend for an 18-year-old man missing since his pickup

Monday, February 5th 2001, 12:00 am

By: News On 6

By By Kandra Branam
News Editor
McAlester News-Capital & Democrat

TUSKAHOMA — 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 uncle’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.

“The boy is gone without a trace,” Garrison said. “We’ve looked everywhere for him and have come up with nothing.

“We’re just sick about it.”

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.

“We probably received upwards of 100 phone calls from people in the area that have information, that claim to have seen this boy,” 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.

“It’s a mystery,” Flood said. “If someone did pick him up, we have no idea why he’s not presented himself.

“We don’t have anything to suggest foul play, but I’m suspicious because he’s gone.”

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 Flood’s office at (580) 298-2475 or his personal toll-free number at (800) 235-1921.

“Somebody out there knows something,” the sheriff said. “We just have to find that person.”

©McAlester News-Capital & Democrat 2001

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