Richland County investigators are still looking for leads regarding the disappearance of a Columbia man who was last seen leaving a local bar almost a month ago.
Sheriff Leon Lott held a press conference Tuesday at the Richland County Sheriff’s Department asking anyone who has information regarding the disappearance of Montey “Duke” Donnell Thomas which happened 26 days ago. Lott said Thomas was last seen outside of Rick’s Party Shop, a popular establishment for residents, along Shop Road on Nov. 21.
Initial reports from the sheriff’s department suggested that Thomas may have called a friend to come pick him up before he was reported missing.
“This is something that is concerning us and concerning his family,” Lott said. “We have done an intensive search for him. We have looked all over the place for him and we will continue to look for him.”
Lott was joined by Thomas’ family and friends who told law enforcement it is not in Thomas’ character to disappear without contacting his mother, which he attempted to do the night he went missing Lott said. His mother began to cry as Lott urged the community to come forward and help finding her son.
Lott said Rev. Charles Epps and Thomas’ family, the sheriff’s department and Crime Stoppers are offering $3,000 for any information that will lead to Thomas’ discovery.
“I hope that someone will do it out of the goodness of their heart and not continue to have the tears you can see beside me now from his family,” Lott said. “We need to bring him home.”
Epps said that members of his church and the community have been out searching with the sheriff’s department in hopes of finding any clues that may generate leads of Thomas’ whereabouts.
“We want to ease the burden of this mother who has really been taking it hard,” Epps said.
Members of the Mount Calvary Baptist Church held a candle light vigil for Thomas on Dec. 1 in order to show their support for the family, Epps said.
Thomas is described as a black man, 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 175 pounds. He has gray and black hair and brown eyes.
If anyone has information regarding Thomas’ whereabouts call Crime Stoppers at 1 (888)-CRIME-SC.