La Porte family searches for missing father

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter

LA PORTE, Texas - A family in La Porte is asking for the public's help in finding a missing father of four and grandfather of eight who disappeared back in January.

Volunteers with Texas Eqqusearch are helping the family and plan to launch a large scale search on Wednesday for Thomas "Bud" Yates.

"I don't think he ever made an enemy, everybody liked him," said Yates' son, Clint Yates. "Pretty laid back guy. Very just outgoing, very social."

Family members said Yates' wife, Elissa Yates, was the last to see him at their home in the Fairmont Park East subdivision in La Porte just after midnight on Jan. 31. However, family members said the 60-year-old's wife did not notify the rest of the family that he was missing until Friday -- eight days later.

Family members said by the time they received a call from Yates' wife she had left the state. The family filed a missing person report with La Porte police on Friday.

According to Elissa Yates she is cooperating with police, who are treating her husband's disappearance as a missing person's case. She said she planned the trip to South Carolina in advance to be with her mother who has cancer.

Elissa Yates says her husband knew about the trip because he was supposed to take her to the airport and she believes her husband is still alive.

Yates' mother said her son has never been the type to just take off without letting someone in the family know where he was going.

"This thing just didn't happen, there's never been a time in his life before somebody in the family hasn't known where he was," said June Yates, mother of the missing man.

Yates' sister, Kathy, added her brother is in good health and even got a job as a security officer after retiring from DuPont. The family plans to gather with Texas Eqqusearch volunteers Wednesday to begin a ground search of an area along Highway 146.

"If it doesn't turn out like we hope it does we want to find out who is responsible and we won't give up," said Kathy.

Elissa Yates says she didn't wait eight days to to tell family members that Yates was missing. She said she tried to make a reports with La Porte police three days after he went missing.

Searchers will use the Bayshore Baptist Church on Spencer Highway as a command center.

Tim Miller with Texas Eqqusearch said they plan to use a drone, ATVs and foot searches in their effort to find Yates. Family members said they are also in the process of putting together a reward for any information that will help find out what happened to Yates.

If you have any information about Thomas Yates' whereabouts please call the La Porte Police Department at 281-471-3811 or 281-471-2141.

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