Michael Graham reportedly sent text messages to family members saying he had been forced into the trunk of a car and kidnapped, but now police in Iowa are saying they said they do not suspect foul play in the case of the missing man.
Graham reportedly sent text messages to family members on Monday from the trunk of his black Volkswagen Jetta, USA Today reported. The 37-year-old was working in a commercial building about 100 miles east of Des Moines when he was reportedly abducted. Police said Graham’s cell phone was last located near the city of Keota, which is about 30 miles from where he was working.
“Family members have recently received text messages from Mr. Graham’s phone number,” police said on Monday (via KHAK). “At this time, his location is still unknown and the circumstances of his disappearance cannot be confirmed. This department continues to follow up on several tips and leads to locate Mr. Graham.”
Police are calling on the public to help locate Michael Graham’s missing car, a 2016 Volkswagen with an Iowa license place ELL 592.
The missing man’s wife, Jill Graham, also posted a Facebook message late on Monday calling on people to help look for him.
“He’s 37 years old, 5’7”, weighs approximately 160lbs, has brown hair (shaved) and brown eyes. The local police department was able to ping his phone on the boarder of Keokuk and Washington County in Iowa around 1:15pm this afternoon. We have since lost his location and believe his phone is shut off.
“We are unable to locate his vehicle, so we assume he is with it. It’s a black 2016 Volkswagen Jetta with the license plate ELL-592.”
Jill Graham noted that Michael is a father to four and that his family was anxious to see him again, asking people to share the post. The public has responded and in the hours since it was first posted the message has since gone viral, garnering close to 100,000 shares from people across the country.
Many others shared pictures of Graham on social media along with details of his disappearance.
But in a bit of a strange twist, police said on Tuesday that they did not suspect foul play in Michael Graham’s disappearance. Diane Venenga, the North Liberty police chief, said the department continues to search for the missing man but did not have reason to suspect foul play.
“At this point we do not suspect foul play but we are continuing to follow tips to locate Mr. Graham,” she said (via The Gazette).
But police did not give any more insight into the disappearance of Michael Graham, including whether he left on his own or where he could be. It was also not known if he was in any immediate danger or where he could have been traveling to.
In her Facebook post, Jill Graham said that some people may be skeptical of the circumstances surrounding Michael’s disappearance, but she noted that his family was still very worried and wanted to see him come home safely.
“I understand that some people may be skeptic [sic] of this post being truthful,” she wrote. “Unfortunately, this nightmare is actually happening.”
Graham’s disappearance became a story of national interest on Monday and Tuesday, with several major media outlets covering his disappearance and many others sharing it online. The strange circumstances of his disappearance also struck a measure of skepticism among many, however.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Michael Graham or his car is asked to call the North Liberty police at (319) 626-5724, Johnson County Communications Center at (319) 356-6800, or contact their local law enforcement agencies.
[Featured Image by Jill Graham/Facebook]