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MISSING IN EAST TEXAS: James Tidwell Jr. - 5 years later

Rusk County, Texas (KETK) -
Why would a man leave behind his glasses, truck and simply...vanish? 
 
The question lingers on the minds of investigators and the family members of James Tidwell Jr. 
 
"He did not voluntarily, willingly walk off that property and leave all of this work and all of these things that he's done," said Lynn Akin, Tidwell Jr.'s, sister. "It's not like it's presented to be. We don't have answers between what happened from point A to point B." 


The 58-year-old lived in Mount Enterprise in Rusk County, just south of Henderson, where he and his wife lived in a cabin they were building. 
 
He would travel to Longview several days to work at an electrical company. 
 
"He did not miss work," Akin claims. "He was loyal to his employer." 
 
Akin has been taking notes ever since her brother disappeared. 
 
"It helps me keep things in chronological order," Akin says. "And it kind of helps relieve the stress." 
 
According to Akin and authorities, February 15, 2012, was the last time Tidwell Jr., was seen.
 
He worked the overnight shift at his job and left to go home at 5:30 a.m. He reportedly told his employer he would come back later that afternoon. However, he never showed.
 
"Flander called Jimmy's house and talked to Carol, Jimmy's wife," Akin says. "She told him he had been up working on taxes all night. She said she would not wake him up and would refuse to do so." 
 
According to records, a week went by without Tidwell Jr., showing up for work. 
 
On February 20, Tidwell Jr.'s, employer contacted authorities asking them to check on him. After hearing nothing, they called again on February 28. That's when it was discovered something was wrong. 
 
"They said that they were on Jimmy's property," Akin says. "And they suspected he was missing, and of course I went into panic mode." 
 
There were no signs of Tidwell Jr., at his house and no indications of foul play. 
 
Officers would find Tidwell Jr.'s, car about five miles from his house. It was parked on the side of the road for days, near the intersection of State Highway 315 and Farm-To-Market 95. 
 
"His car was pulled off the side of the road at a proper parking angle," claims Akin. "Nothing was found in the vehicle except his eyeglasses laying in the seat." 
 
Tidwell Jr.'s wife told officers she had been staying with family in Nacogdoches, due to the cabin still being under construction. She said she last saw her husband on February 24, four days before he was reported missing. 
 
For days, officers searched a five-mile radius in deep, wooded areas, but no signs of Tidwell Jr., ever found.
 
Officials say he left his car on the side of the road sometime between February 15 and February 28, and was just...gone. 
 
"It just didn't happen that way," declares Akin.
 
The Rusk County Sheriff's Office tells KETK, Tidwell Jr.'s, wife has never been charged with anything and, to their knowledge, she had nothing to do with this. 
 
But Akin argues...she knows more than she's telling. 
 
"Her stories just kept scrambling," Akin claims. "I did not see Jimmy that Friday, but I had called and talked to him. A few minutes later, Carol said she did not talk to Jimmy on that Friday, but that she went by and saw him feed the chickens."
 
Akin says those comments were made just days after Tidwell Jr., went missing. 
 
"I can't prove it," says Akin. "We don't have a body, we don't have a crime scene, but that's what I feel in my heart and I have a right to say. I don't know what you've heard, but the facts still remain. He's still missing." 
 
Tidwell Jr.'s, case remains open, and his sister is still waiting for answers, constantly reading her timeline of events, while holding on to the memories of the man who was always there for her.
 
"Life goes on," Akin explains. "But, you never stop looking. You never stop asking. You never stop wondering. It never goes away."  

Anyone with additional information or questions regarding this case should contact the Texas Department of Public Safety, Missing Persons Clearinghouse at 512-424-5074 or 1-800-346-3243.
 
 
 
 
 

 


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