‘I can’t rest until my brother is brought back home’: Alabama family searching for loved one missing 6 weeks

Local News

CLAY COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Investigators in Clay County continue to search for a missing father and grandfather who hasn’t been seen since before Easter Sunday.

The family of 46-year-old Willie Randolph Thomas is desperate to learn what happened to their loved one.

“This a hard thing. A lot of sleepless nights. A lot of crying. A lot of praying,” said Thomas’ sister, Melissa Roberts.

Thomas is Roberts’ youngest brother. She said he’s never gone this long without being in touch.

“In my heart, I do not feel like he is still alive. That’s why I feel like there could be more done to bring my brother home. It’s been too long,” said Roberts.

His disappearance remains a mystery. He was reportedly last seen walking along Alabama Highway 77 near his home.

Thomas would often walk to a nearby town where he worked and had family members.

Roberts doesn’t have any reason to believe anyone would be trying to harm her brother. She said she misses his humor and the moments together as a family.

“He was a sunshine on a rainy day. He knew how to put a smile on your face when you didn’t feel like smiling,” Roberts said.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office continues to work on the investigation.

“The information we received on Mr. Thomas was that Mr. Thomas walked the route from his home here in Clay County, which was near the Randolph and Clay County line, that he walked that route to a town called Wadley fairly regularly, several times weekly, and spent a lot of his time there in Wadley,” said Investigator Trent Adams with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

Adams said there was an initial search for Thomas using an aviation unit and dogs from the Red Mountain Search Dog Association.

“At this time, it is listed as a missing person case, however, we won’t rule anything out at this point and our investigative unit is still working on this case diligently,” Adams said.

The investigation is now at a standstill and detectives are hopeful to receive more information from the public.

“I can assure you any lead or tip that comes in will not be viewed as insignificant at this point any tip that we get or lead will be thoroughly investigated as at this point our ultimate goal is to locate Mr. Thomas,” Adams continued. “Our information was he was a guy that kept to himself, never caused any problems for anyone, and everyone that we have talked to throughout this investigation really spoke highly of Mr. Thomas.”

Thomas’ father hopes that answers will come soon.

“He was more than my son, he was more like a brother to me because we did a lot of work together,” Clarence Thomas continued. “I can’t sleep at night like I want to. I try to keep busy to keep my mind occupied.”

The Thomas family is pleading with members of the public to come forward with any details that may help investigators.

“I just want people to hear our pain, hear our story, and feel it in their heart to help us, help us get closure,” said Melissa Roberts.

Anyone with information about Thomas is asked to call the Clay County Sheriff’s Office at 256-354-2176.

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