Family considers missing La Porte man's disappearance suspicious


Family members of Thomas "Bud" Yates say it's been two weeks since he has been seen or heard from. Friends, family and volunteers came out on Wednesday to help search for the missing La Porte man.

Close to 100 people crowded into the Bayshore Baptist Church on a mission to find the 60-year-old man, who's been missing since January 31.

"I tried his cell phone because he always answers my calls," said Yates' sister, Dixie Yates. "And when he didn't, I knew something was wrong."

"This doesn't happen," said sister Melanie Bass. "This doesn't happen. Something's wrong."

Yates was last seen on January 31 by a taxi driver who took him home from the Neon Moon Saloon. The driver dropped Yates off and said he went inside to get money, but never came back out.

Yates' family says his wife also abruptly disappeared, but finally turned up a week ago in South Carolina with no knowledge of where her husband might be. "He hasn't been to work in a couple weeks," said Yates' daughter, Leslie Riggle. "He hasn't showed up, which is very unlike him."

Volunteers will be searching on foot and on ATVs, and have a lot of ground to cover.

Because of how long Yates has already been missing, his family has a bad feeling something might have happened to him.

"We want to find him," Riggles said. "I don't know whether we expect to find him dead or alive at this point. I just want to find him, know what happened."

For now, the only solace the family is feeling is the amount of support from the community.

"It's a wonderful feeling," Riggles said. "I never imagined this many people showing up to help my dad or myself. It' s absolutely amazing."

Yates' family told us they've been asked not to say too much about the investigation, but they do consider his disappearance suspicious. They're asking anyone with information about what might have happened to him to call police.

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