Officials in South Carolina believe they have found the remains of a Raleigh man who has been missing since June.
According to the York County Sheriff’s Office, the remains are believed to be Martin Elbert Bankhead, 61, who was reported missing on June 10 from his home in Raleigh.
The remains were located by surveyors in a creek and wooded area in Catawba, South Carolina. Officials said, on June 11, Bankhead’s vehicle was located off the road, stuck on railroad tracks in Catawba.
Prior to the discovery, Raleigh police posted a video of an appearance Bankhead made on the TV show Family Feud. Investigators were using the clip to appeal to the public for help locating him.
“We will never give up looking for you until we find out,” Bankhead’s sister, Sarah Triplett, said. Triplett and her sisters, who live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, said their brother is one of 12 siblings and the family is very close. They said they can’t imagine he would leave without telling somebody.
“We have no idea or no clue, so that’s what is so devastating, because this is so much out of Martin’s character,” Bankhead’s sister, Elaine Harper, said.
Family members said Bankhead was known to be a world traveler, but he always stayed in touch with his family.
“We just had our family reunion, which we’ve been having for at least 35 years, a couple of weeks ago and this is the first time Martin has missed one of the family reunions,” Triplett said.
Neighbors in Raleigh who knew Bankhead were stunned by the news.
″(I’m) kind of in disbelief. Like, how can that happen in such a remote area. It’s kind of strange,” said Sam Schneggenburger.
Family members said they even had Bankhead’s T-shirt and a welcome home banner waiting for him at the reunion, hoping he would show up.