NEWBERRY COUNTY — The latest ground search in the attempt to locate Robert Lester Jones, a missing Newberry man, has proven unsuccessful.
The search, which was headed up by the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, was held Saturday in conjunction with county fire departments, rescue squads and the South Carolina State Guard.
Jones, 32, was last seen leaving Newberry County Memorial Hospital on Evans Street around 7 p.m. July 24.
His vehicle was located two days later by employees of a tree cutting service on a dead end gravel road, Queen’s Church Road, near I-26.
Sheriff Lee Foster reported there were no signs of foul play or a struggle present at or around the car.
It is unclear if Jones remained in the area or left with another person but Foster said at this juncture the case is still categorized as “missing person.”
Beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday a 67-person search party along with several canines began sweeping the area where Jones’ vehicle had been found and ended that afternoon at 1 p.m.
According to a press release, the goal was to cover as wide an area as possible while still ensuring no area was overlooked.
“The case will stay open forever until he’s located,” said Chief Deputy Todd Johnson. “We’ll continue to make random searches of that area as we can, continue to use aircraft, continue to stay in contact with friends and family to see if there’s any contact and continue to follow any leads as well.”
Additionally Johnson said Jones has been listed as a missing person in the National Crime Information System.
“If he comes up anywhere — if he’s traffic stopped — anything, he would be nationwide known as a missing person and they would contact us,” he said.
A NCSO press release describes Jones as a white male who is 5 feet, 11 inches tall, weighs 200 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes.
He was last seen wearing a blue and navy striped shirt, blue jeans, boots, and a multi-colored welder’s cap.
Anyone who may have information regarding Jones’ whereabouts should call the NCSO at 803-321-2211 or send an email to [email protected]
Reach Carson Lambert at 803-276-0625, ext. 1868, or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.