By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
Barbourville Police detectives continue to investigate the disappearance of a man missing since Tuesday.
Jonathan Ryan Foley, 26, never returned home after a trip to a local store, according to his father, Charles Foley, Jr.
And his hopes for his son’s safe return continue to fade.
“I believe he’s dead,” Foley said. “I know somebody’s killed him.”
Foley said his son returned from active duty with the National Guard in December 2011. “He was an Iraqi War veteran,” he said. “When he was over there, he’d call me every day. Or he’d call me before a mission to tell me he’d be gone for seven days, or five days, or whatever.”
According to Foley, that habit continued after his son’s return to the United States. “Even if he stayed out overnight somewhere partying, he’d still call home so I wouldn’t worry.”
Earlier Tuesday, Foley said he and his son went to Lexington. “We went to the VA Hospital up there because they were planning on removing his wisdom teeth,” he said.
They returned to their Foley Street home about 4:30 or 5 p.m. that afternoon. “I was pretty tired, so I was going to lay down for a bit,” Foley said. “He wanted to borrow my (cell) phone and run up to the store to get gas.
“He said he’d probably be back in 15 minutes or so.”
But when Foley awoke nearly an hour and a half later, he discovered his son had yet to return home.
“I couldn’t call him or anything, because he had my phone,” he said. “My son in California thought something was wrong with me because he couldn’t reach me through that phone.”
Numerous attempts were made to contact Foley’s son through that phone.
“If you’d call my phone, it would go to voicemail like it was out of service,” he said. “I’ve called from this (new) phone and it still just goes to voicemail.”
Wednesday came with no news and no sign of Jonathan. “I waited all day for him to show up,” Foley said.
That’s when he started driving. “I didn’t know what to do,” he said. “(His mother and I) were just driving around, just looking. I’d asked all over the county if anybody had seen him.
“We stopped at a red light at the (Knox County) hospital and it was fixing to get dark, and I thought, ‘Maybe he went in there.’”
That’s when the parents spotted their missing son’s 2002 Ford F150. “There was mud and grass underneath like it’d been four-wheeling and the bottom was messed up,” he said. “That’s when I called the detectives.”
Barbourville Police Detective Steve Owens said they are looking for surveillance video. Detectives also seek potential witnesses. “The longer this draws out, the worse the outcome looks,” he said.
Friday was especially hard for Foley. “It (was) his birthday,” he said. “He and his mother have the same birthday, and they were going to celebrate.
“They hadn’t got to do that since he was in Iraq.”
Leading the ongoing investigation are Owens and Detective Brian Senters. Assisting in the investigation from the Barbourville Police Department are Chief Mike Broughton, Sgt. Kenny Williamson and Patrolman Pat Clouse.
Police request that anyone who has any information, or who has seen or talked to Jonathan Foley, to contact either Owens or Senters at 606-546-3441.