First Posted: 12/17/2014
LAURINBURG — Authorities are searching for clues in the disappearance of two Scotland County men whose blood-stained car was found last Wednesday on the side of a Georgia highway.
According to sheriff’s Investigator Jeff Cooke, who is leading the investigation in Scotland County, Lonnie Patterson, 45, of Laurinburg, and Randy Hobbs, 55, of Laurel Hill, were reported missing on Dec. 9.
The next day, a Georgia highway patrolman found Patterson’s rental car abandoned on the side of a road, Cooke said. The patrolman told Tattnall County sheriff’s Lt. Justin Kirkland, who is leading the investigation from Georgia, that there was a “large amount of blood” on the driver’s side of the vehicle, Cooke said. Kirkland’s team is working to collect samples to determine whose blood it is.
“They have not ruled it to be a homicide or anything of that nature,” Cooke said.
When she reported her husband missing, Cynthia said she had not seen or heard from Patterson since the previous Sunday, but Cooke said a friend reported seeing him on Monday, after Patterson had acquired a car from a Scotland County rental agency. Cynthia Patterson told authorities that he had rented the car for the drive to Georgia, in order to pick up another car for her.
The day Patterson’s rental car was found is the same day he was due in court for charges of felonious trafficking in opium or heroin and misdemeanor resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer. He was indicted on those charges by a grand jury last year.
Patterson is reportedly 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs about 210 pounds. He was last seen wearing a dark blue T-shirt, dark jeans and white, high-top Reebok sneakers. He has black hair and brown eyes.
Hobbs, who does not appear to have a criminal record, is reported as being 5 feet, 10 inches tall, with brown hair and blue eyes. No description of his clothing was available.
Anyone with information should call Cooke at the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office, at 910-276-3385; or Kirkland at the Tattnall County Sheriff’s Office, at 912-557-6778.
Abbi Overfelt works for Civitas Media as editor of The Laurinburg Exchange. Reach her at 910-506-3023.