Missing Texas father is found eight days after vanishing from his own backyard


A Texas father-of-two who vanished from his own backyard has been found after a week-long search.

Colby Richards, 31, was reported missing after he was last seen at around 5am on 24 May, when his wife said he got up early but never returned to their bedroom to get ready for work.

His wife said when she went to look for him in the backyard of their home in Spring, she found the back gate open - which is something he never did.

The family issued desperate pleas to find him before the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office announced he’d been located on Friday.

He was taken to hospital for mental health evaluation, authorities said, but no other details were provided.

Mr Richards’ cousin Alison Fox said the family grew concern after the “atypical” discovery of the open gate.

“He never leaves the house that way, and they would never leave the gate open anyway because they have a dog and two small children,” Ms Fox told Fox News Digital.

Police investigating the disappearance soon found a water bottle belonging to Mr Richards near the trailhead of a wooded area behind the family home.

“What’s frustrating and what is fuelling the online speculation is there is so little to go on,” Ms Fox told the Houston Chronicle following online chatter that his famiily was not sharing enough details with the public. “There is so little to go off of and we are desperate to find something that would give us more of an idea on where to work.”

Mr Richards had been known to take walks in the area, although he did not go out regularly for an early morning hike, and left his phone and wallet inside his house before he apparently went out.

The family said they had conducted extensive searches of the area, set up a GoFundMe page to help find him and were working with the authorities to help bring him home.

“Search and rescue, so far, has been out for several days. We’ve had everything from people on foot, thermal drones, regular visual drones, people on ATVs, people on horseback and people driving around in their cars checking to see if there are security cameras or doorbell cameras that might have footage,” Ms Fox told Fox News Digital, adding that they had encouraged anyone who may have seen anything out of the ordinary on the day of his disappearance or since to contact authorities.

An update on the GoFundMe campaign - which raised over $10,300 - announced the news that Mr Richards had been found on Friday.

“Colby has been found and is now in the hospital recovering,” Ms Fox wrote. “We are so thankful to know he is alive. We don’t know when he will be released, but we know the funds collected will go towards paying the medical bills that will accrue from his admission. Thank you for all your support.”

Authorities said Mr Richards would be interviewed about the circumstances of his disappearance.