(FOX40.COM) — A man reported missing 27 years ago in Northern California still hasn’t been found, and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Cold Case Unit is asking for the public’s help in solving this case.
“Were you in Humboldt County January 1996? Please keep reading,” the department said in a social media post on Sept. 6.
Scott Paul Hayes was last seen by a roommate on Jan. 8, 1996. Hayes, who was 19 at the time, told his roommate he was leaving Humboldt County and traveling to Southern California to visit his girlfriend, officials say. Hayes reportedly loaded his personal property into his maroon Chevrolet Sonoma pickup truck and left.
Hayes’ truck was found on Jan. 9, 1996, parked on the edge of the northbound lane of U.S. Highway 101 near Redcrest, about 230 miles north of San Francisco.
His vehicle was locked and his belongings were still inside. Later investigations reportedly indicated that the truck was out of fuel. No signs of foul play were found at the scene.
During their investigation, detectives say they located a witness who claimed to have seen a man matching the description of Hayes in Redcrest during the early morning hours of Jan. 9.
The man allegedly told the witness that he had run out of gas. The witness gave the man a ride, however, the man reportedly began acting strangely and the witness dropped him off under the Stafford overpass out of fear for their safety.
The witness continued on and retrieved fuel for the man, however, upon returning approximately 10 minutes later to the Stafford location, the man was gone.
Another witness claimed to have seen Hayes at a motel in Rio Dell. Again, the man who is suspected of being Hayes was reported to be acting strangely and he was not given a room. He was reportedly last seen walking northbound on Wildwood Avenue in that community.
Hayes has not been seen or heard from since Jan. 9, 1996, and all leads received by the Sheriff’s Office thus far have been exhausted.
Hayes was described as a white male adult, approximately 6 feet 1 inch tall, 150 pounds, with blonde hair and hazel eyes.
Anyone with information regarding Hayes’ whereabouts or who may have seen him that day in 1996 is urged by law enforcement to contact HCSO Investigator Mike Fridley at 707-441-3024 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip Line at 707-268-2539.