Family reconnects in surprising way with loved one missing in Alaska since 2004

July 8, 2013 2:06:38 PM PDT
A local family is reconnecting with a loved one they say has been missing since 2004, and they are doing it in a surprising way.

Meet Damon Bonds, available only through photos and the missing person flyer which details his disappearance in 2004.

He remains missing to this day, but his family recently found a mysterious way to reconnect.

"It was amazing. I didn't know what to think," father Carl Bonds said. "I turned around and looked at it, and it was just right there. It was surreal."

Carl Bonds is talking about a panel on the ceiling above their table at the Cadillac Bar in Kemah. Among hundreds -- maybe thousands -- of other customers' messages is his son's signature "Damon Bonds - Alaska or Bust."

Damon grew up in Houston, but fell in love with Alaska, moving there to work.

His nephew, Indigo 'Damon' Bonds, who is named for him, recently started work at the restaurant.

"Family came down and decided to come eat and see me," the nephew said. "They just happened to sit in the right spot and look up and saw my uncle's name written there years ago before he left."

Once in Alaska, Damon fell in love and started a new life, but then went missing from Anchorage.

"They found his dog, Skully -- a female boxer/terrier mix -- in the back of the truck under a canopy and his cell phone in the front seat," Carl Bonds said."And Damon was just gone."

There was no evidence of a crime and never any solid leads, but his father is holding onto hope.

"I've been asked about a memorial service," he said. "I won't do it. He's still missing; he's still out there."

And just maybe his signature is a sign.

"This is telling me, 'Dad, I'm still here,'" he said. "And this me is telling him, 'We're still looking.'"

Find Elissa on Facebook at ABC13ElissaRivas or on Twitter at @elissa_rivas13

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