It’s been 46 days since Christopher Cole Thomas was reported missing in Benson, and town police and the State Bureau of Investigation have spent more than 1,500 man hours searching for him.
About 27 separate searches have been conducted so far. Law enforcement and volunteers have combed Benson and several other locations on foot, using trained dogs, and in the air using crafts piloted by the SBI and N.C. Highway Patrol.
The 22-year-old Florida man went missing after stopping his car while driving through Benson and running away, people who knew him told police.
At about 3 a.m. Nov. 25, Benson police received a report of a missing person. Two people said they had been traveling with Christopher Cole Thomas on Interstate 40 when he stopped in Benson while en route to Durham. Thomas got out of the car and ran away in a neighborhood at North Elm Street and East Morgan Street, his passengers said. They tried to find him but couldn’t.
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Tips have come in from multiple counties and even other states. North Carolina agencies are working across borders to collect information.
The Thomas family, with the CUE Center for Missing Persons, was offering a $10,000 reward for information about Thomas’ whereabouts.
“We and the assisting agencies are committed to finding Christopher Cole Thomas, and our investigation into his disappearance is still very much active,” said Benson Police Chief Kenneth Edwards. “We will continue to conduct interviews, initiate searches and follow all leads until he is reunited with his family.”
Thomas, a white male, stands about 6’1” tall and weighs about 230 pounds. He has brown/blonde hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a red T-shirt, black pants and a black Carhartt jacket, police said.
Thomas was living in Live Oak, Fla., but working in Minnesota and was headed through North Carolina to spend Thanksgiving with a co-worker living in Durham, police said.
If you have any information that might be of assistance, call the Benson Police Department at 919-894-2091.