Investigators with the Walker County Sheriff’s Office said at a press conference Thursday that foul play has not been ruled out in the disappearance of a 26-year-old last seen in the Boldo community. A search of a perimeter around where he was last seen is also scheduled for Saturday.
Hayden Mayberry was last seen on Nov. 19 and a missing persons’ report was filed with the WCSO on Nov. 25. Sheriff Nick Smith said it is unlike Mayberry to be away from his family for a long amount of time, saying he would typically at least check in on his young son two or three times per day.
“We recently executed a search warrant at residence in Boldo where he was known to be staying,” Smith said. “He left behind items that would make it difficult for him to live without, which does give us some concerns.”
Authorities said they have executed six search warrants in the case, and one of the items specifically mentioned being found was Mayberry’s eye glasses.
Smith said a search of a wooded area in Boldo will take place, in hopes of finding clues to Mayberry’s whereabouts. The sheriff’s office is asking local residents to volunteer to search the area. Anyone interested can meet on Saturday at 9 a.m. at the sheriff’s office in downtown Jasper.
Investigator Carl Carpenter said phone records showed that Mayberry’s phone has not been used since Nov. 19. Carpenter said he is hopeful the search will be helpful in turning up clues in the case.
“I believe we can find anything from Hayden himself to things that may have been left behind because he ran through the woods or went through the woods,” Carpenter said. “I just really don’t know. We’re hoping to find anything that helps in the case.”
Carpenter added that foul play could not be ruled out at this point in the investigation.
“Given the circumstances, we have to lean that way,” Carpenter said. “If there was foul play involved, we want to uncover as much information as possible so we can have a strong case if it does need to go to the district attorney. The way I conduct investigations, everyone is a suspect until I can absolutely prove that you are not, so I would say I have at least a dozen persons of interest in mind.”
Carpenter confirmed there had been at least two victims of a scam related to Mayberry’s disappearance. Reportedly, someone had contacted people saying there was a ransom that needed to be paid.
“There are sorry people out there who troll the internet and target people who are victims,” he said. “I have no reason to believe that Hayden was kidnapped. None of the evidence or testimony points to that at this time. If you are approached by this scam, I would contact the sheriff’s office to let us know about it.”
The full press conference can be viewed on the Daily Mountain Eagle’s Facebook Page.