The disappearance of a Michigan man and the discovery of his car on Friday, has his family and the whole town confused as to what has happened to him.
“It’s king of hard to bump into somebody who’s not talking about it,” Brad Beckstrand, a Big Rapids resident told Fox 17 news.
Fred Byrne, 47, from Big Rapids, Mich. went missing on Tuesday, Feb. 12 while driving back from dropping his son off at Hope College and visiting his mother in Holland, Mich. He told his family he was going to River Town Crossings Mall in Grandville in Kent County to buy a Valentine's Day gift for his wife, Diana, and then come home, but he never made it.
On Friday, Fred's car was found parked off a service road in the Mark Twain National Forest in Van Buren, Mo. It had been there for several days according to a witness. The Carter County Sheriff Department checked the car and found Fred's wallet on the rear floor and his keys in the center console. The 2005 Chevrolet Malibu was unlocked and Fred was not found in the area, reports Fox 17 news.
Fred's wife Diana told WOODTV news that she did not know why her husband's car was in Missouri and they they had no ties to anyone living there. Diana had given Fred $60 before he left and only $4 was found in the console of the car. Fred has made no contact with his family since he went missing.
Detective Brian Miller of the Clark County Sheriff's Department says now that they have the car, they will ship it back to Michigan to process it for prints, DNA and other evidence, and they will also be working with security officers at the Rivertown Mall.
Byrne's Malibu has a Michigan license plate BSY0298 in a Hope College plate cover and a BR sticker on one side of the back window and a Hope College Parent sticker on the other side of the window. If you saw the vehicle during the time between Feb. 12 and 15, please notify the police.
If you know anything about this case then you are asked to call the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety at 231-527-0005.