Authorities, family seek info about man missing since May

John Edward Cole

John Edward Cole, 46, of the Big Creek area west of Theodosia, has not been seen since May of this year. Ozark County Sheriff’s Cpl. Curtis Dobbs says there have been no serious leads in the case. 

John Cole and his wife, Angela, both Lutie High School graduates, are well known to many Ozark Countians.

Angela now asks area deer hunters to be especially alert for signs of her missing husband this deer season while they’re in the woods.

“Please, all deer hunters, be alert and keep an eye out for anything that might lead us to know what happened to him,” Angela said. 

She contacted the Taney County Sheriff’s Department in the spring, explaining that she hadn’t seen her husband for some time. 

“Our son dropped him off at his cousin’s house in Ocie … , and that was the last time any of us, his immediate family, saw him,” Angela told the Times. “A neighbor saw him walking on the Big Creek Bridge after that. The cousin whose house he went to said his brother was the last one to see him, and that was on Stehle Road.”

Because John and Angela live very close to the Taney - Ozark county line and they have an extended network of associates in Ozark County, Dobbs became involved with the investigation as well. A missing persons investigative unit of the Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop G office is also active in the search.

“It wasn’t uncommon for him to be out of contact for certain lengths of time,” Dobbs said. “He would often walk very far distances in the area and was not in contact with family or friends during those times. However, it has never been for this length of time before.”

Dobbs said his efforts in the case have mostly been through interviews rather than foot search because officers are unsure what area Cole might be in since he often walked all over both Taney and Ozark counties. 

“We’ve put a lot of hours into this,” Dobbs said. “A lot of the investigation this far has been person-to-person interviews.”

Cole was last seen May 22 walking on County Road 644 wearing a light gray shirt, blue jeans, black lace-up boots, a wallet with a chain and a ball cap. He stands 6-foot 3-inches tall and weighs 163 pounds. He has blue eyes and brownish gray hair. The tip of his left thumb is missing. 

Angela Cole says her husband is a severe diabetic and has also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder with a history of manic episodes. Dobbs and Angela are concerned John may have encountered health issues while walking. 

“I do not like it when citizens of our county or neighboring counties disappear without knowing what has happened,” Dobbs told the Times this week. “It hurts my heart knowing he has family out there searching for him every day.”

Angela said the couple has a 3-year-old granddaughter who John “thought the world of. I cannot see him staying away from her this long.”

She added, ”The not knowing is the worst feeling ever.” 

Anyone who has information about Cole’s whereabouts is asked to call the Taney County Sheriff’s Department at 417-546-7250 or the Ozark County Sheriff’s Department at 417-679-4633.

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423