UNICOI COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL)- Officials with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation confirmed they are now involved in the search for a missing Unicoi County man.
Lucas Vance, 35, was last seen October 29th at his home on Marbleton Road.
News Channel 11’s Blake Lipton spoke with employees at the Maple Grove Restaurant in Unicoi which Vance co-owns.
Those employees said they are holding out hope he will be found safe.
“He was a great, loving, caring person with a big heart and would do anything for anyone,” said Tosha Kalmbach, who is now stepping in while the investigation into Vance’s whereabouts continues.
“I’ve been trying to keep the girls together as far as myself, and taking it one day at a time,” she said, “praying to God that we all wake up from this nightmare and he’s home safe.”
Kalmbach said after a rough patch in her life, Vance had helped her by giving her a job at the restaurant for the second time.
“He gave me that second chance to get my life back together and he stood beside me the whole way and I owe him a lot,” she said.
Kathie Hoilman said it was a shock when Vance did not show up to work last week. She also said he has two daugthers.
“It just seems unreal,” said Hoilman. “He’s not only my boss, he’s my friend, I grew up with all his family, we all grew up together in the same neighborhood.”
Sheriff Hensley said in an update on social media Wednesday that his department was continuing to follow every lead and that the TBI was assisting in the investigation.
On Saturday, the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department ended the ground search for Vance until new information becomes available.
Hensley said the investigation is still very active.
“I just wish that someone somewhere, would tell us something, because somebody somewhere knows something, even if it is just a little bit, just lead us in the right direction,” said Kalmbach.
There is also now a billboard visible from W. Walnut Street and State of Franklin Road in Johnson City that has a photo of Lucas Vance and says “Missing person…Call your local Sheriff Office”
“If you are out there somewhere Luc and you see this, we love you, your family loves you, your daughters love you and we just want you to come home,” said Hoilman.
Sheriff Hensley said if you have any information about Vance’s whereabouts to call the Unicoi County Sheriff Department at 423-743–1850.
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