By RICK CURL
Of The Record Staff
If no news is good news, then the case of a missing Florida man might, however unlikely, fall into that category.
Benson Police Chief Kenneth Edwards released an update on the investigation into the Nov. 25 disappearance of Christopher Cole Thomas.
Mr. Thomas was reportedly last seen by two acquaintances at an intersection near downtown Benson. Authorities have remained tight-lipped regarding the case. But in a press release Tuesday afternoon, they did offer a few more details.
According to the update, the Benson Police Department has been assisted by a multitude of other agencies. They include the SBI, the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, the Johnston County District Attorney’s Office, the Dunn and Erwin Police departments and other local and state agencies.
Chief Edwards characterizes the search as a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding the man’s disappearance.
In the release he outlined the efforts to find Mr. Thomas and some of the information avail- See Missing, Page 3
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Chief Edwards noted all individuals who were present at the time of the report have been interviewed by law enforcement personnel on multiple occasions and various methods and equipment have been used.
There have been approximately 27 searches conducted to find Mr. Thomas. They include two that were done last week. During those searches in and around Benson, and according to the release, other places, several methods have been used to assist. They include the use of personnel on foot, the use of trained and certified search dogs from the SBI, aircraft and pilots provided by the SBI and the Highway Patrol. There have been more than 1,500 manhours devoted to the search by Benson and the SBI and there has been forensic testing as well as more technical investigative methods used and that will continue to be used as appropriate.
“We, and the assisting agencies, are committed to finding Christopher Cole Thomas, and our investigation into his disappearance is still very much active,” Chief Edwards said. “We will continue to conduct interviews, initiate searches and follow all leads until he is reunited with his family.”
A $10,000 reward remains active for information leading to his location.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Benson Police Department at (919) 894-2091.