It’s been nearly two months since 22-year-old Cole Thomas allegedly disappeared from an intersection in North Carolina, but his case has become even more of a mystery than ever before.
According to WTVD, the family of Cole Thomas, whose full name is Christopher Cole Thomas, in collaboration with the CUE Center for Missing Persons, is offering a $10,000 reward for information on his whereabouts.
Authorities say Cole’s bizarre disappearance began on November 25, Thanksgiving weekend, when Cole decided to travel from his new home in Minnesota to North Carolina.
Cole had only recently located to Minnesota to become an electrician after leaving the University of Florida, near where the rest of his family lived, and had decided to make the 17-hour trip to North Carolina with new friends he met at work.
Nobody in Cole’s family knew that he had decided to go to North Carolina over Thanksgiving weekend.
"I had invited him to spend Thanksgiving with my daughter and I in Kansas, since it was closer than him having to go to Florida," Cole’s aunt, Darla Gatewood, told Dateline. "He told me he would have wanted to, but he had to be at work Friday morning so he couldn't really go anywhere."
The last known images of Cole show the young man inside a convenience store in the late hours of November 24 outside Mount Olive, North Carolina.
That’s when things took a turn for the worse.
According to WRAL, the men that Cole had been traveling with told authorities that they were going to North Carolina "to do a big drug deal."
After the alleged deal had been made, Cole reportedly became extremely paranoid and started driving erratically before stopping the car at an intersection.
The friends say that’s when Cole jumped out of the car and started running away from them.
Although the friends insist they tried to run after Cole, they allegedly couldn’t keep up. This happened around 3 a.m., according to police.
Cole’s family say they are absolutely shocked that Cole could have been involved in drugs. It just doesn’t fit his personality.
But even if he did partake in the drug deal, that still doesn’t explain Cole’s sudden disappearance.
"There are no facts that we know of to base those statements off of," Darla said. "Even if drugs were somehow involved, where is he? You don't just run away in the middle of the night and not be found."
Since the disappearance, Cole’s parents have temporarily located to Benson to find their son.
"We need people to know he is missing. We've been told this thing is bigger than just a missing person case. But to us, we just want Cole home," Darla told Dateline. "Let's get him home."