A MISSING father has been discovered after his family speculated wildly about this shocking disappearance.
Colby Richards, 31, walked out of his home in Montgomery County, Texas in the early hours of Friday morning and was found a week later.
Colby’s discovery was corroborated by his cousin on Facebook, who wrote: “Hallelujah and praise the Lord!!! Colby was found alive!”
“We don’t have any details yet, but we are overjoyed with the positive outcome.”
The discovery came after the father of two young children was supposed to be preparing for his new job at an engineering firm, but instead went to the hiking trails behind his house without a wallet, phone or keys.
His wife Callie suspected he was sleeping in another room when she woke up looking for him, but called the police when she found he had left the back gate of their home open, Colby’s cousin Allison Fox told him exclusively the US Sun was found.
Under normal circumstances, he would make sure the house is secure so her kids and dogs don’t go far.
Police found Colby’s water bottle at the end of the trail, but saw no sign that he was still in the woods.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday ceased an active search for Richards but continued the investigation into his disappearance.
Fox, who is acting as a family representative, has set up a Facebook page to update concerned friends and family on the status of the search effort.
Comments on the site were heavily censored by Fox, who reminded the so-called armchair detectives that their theories would be read by heartbroken family members.
Some users suggested Colby left voluntarily to escape, but Fox says he would never abandon his little one-year-old boy and three-year-old daughter.
“We see things on the internet about maybe he left, maybe he wanted to elope with someone, or just ridiculous things that aren’t true,” she told The US Sun.
“The kids are his world… It makes absolutely no sense that he would leave them like this.”
The cousin asks that people take their hurtful theories elsewhere while they continue to search intensely for Colby.
“Something that could hurt Callie… that’s not appreciated.
“If people want to speculate on news sites or Reddit or whatever, that’s fine.”
“Just don’t do it on the pages where Callie’s and Colby’s mom and Colby’s granddad and all the rest of us have to see it.”
Fox said Colby would sometimes go outside to meditate without his phone, but never early in the morning before an already early shift.
Richards is known as a popular baseball coach who worked with promising young players in his community, and he just landed a new job at an engineering firm before disappearing.
Company officials said he was sleepy in the days leading up to the shocking incident and sometimes fainted in front of his screen, Fox said LiveNOW FOX.
However, the cousin reminded the public that he is a father to two very young children and said insomnia is not uncommon.
Fox believes her cousin could have come a long way as he was a dedicated runner and athlete.
She worries he has been without water for days and may be avoiding search parties.
The head of Gulf Search and Rescue, a group helping with the search, said he was confused by the case and feared for Richards’ safety.
“In 19 years I have never seen such a case. It’s very unique,” Jake Stovall told local reporters.
“A 31-year-old man who is in good health, but when you get dehydrated it changes everything.”
“It was hard”
“It’s a really big mystery,” Fox told The US Sun. “There’s not a lot of clear evidence or clues to go by.”
According to Callie, nothing remarkable happened in her life that would have caused her husband to run away.
She said he has not been diagnosed with any mental health problems and has never left the family.
“It was tough,” she told the Fox affiliate KRIVThey say their two young children are starting to realize something is wrong.
“My daughter knows. At first we tried to keep it a secret until we could get more information, but she knows,” Callie said.
“She asked questions, like sick questions. She is very smart.”
“She is very aware of what is going on. My son sucked me dry.”