BENSON, N.C. (WNCN) — A Johnston County community is banding together to help a Florida family find their son.
Cole Thomas has been missing for two weeks. Acquaintances who were traveling with the 22-year-old claim he stopped his vehicle at an intersection near downtown Benson on Nov. 25, ran from the vehicle and disappeared.
As police try to figure out what happened to Thomas, his mother and father came to Benson to make a personal appeal to local businesses, asking them to put up posters.
Thomas’ father Christopher Thomas said it’s now his mission to find his son.
“I will do everything to find him,” he said. “I will not give up.”
Joanne Norris of Dixie Divas Boutique put several missing posters up in the windows of her business. And she’s not the only one. Virtually every business in the downtown has put the posters up.
“Benson is a very small, close-knit community,” Norris said. “We consider everyone family, so if someone has a problem, we will pitch in to help.”
“We’ve talked about it all week, and everybody is so sad,” said Betty Lou Byrd, another Benson merchant. “We’re hoping and praying they find him.”
Those who live in the neighborhood say police asked if anyone had seen Thomas, used dogs and aircraft and even searched several vacant lots.
The State Bureau of Investigation is now helping the Benson police with the investigation. Officials are hoping a $10,000 reward that’s being offered in the case will help generate leads.