The Missing Part 1: Robert Wayne Cox

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YELL COUNTY, AR – On February 19, 2011 Robert Wayne Cox disappeared from his Yell County home in Havana. How he ended up “missing” is still being debated.

The sheriff’s department isn’t talking, but his sister and dad are along with a private investigator who’s volunteering his own time, because in his words there has to be justice for “The Missing.”

Getting to the last place Robert Wayne Cox was last reported seen takes a lot of effort, even for the most able bodied person.

Now imagine navigating this terrain while being disabled, and unable to speak.

“There’s no way your brother could have gotten over all this?” FOX16’s Kevin Kelly asks Cox’s sister.

“No or even up there where there was smaller debris,” says Lydia Carter.

In the early part of 2010 life was good for the 59-year-old. He lived here with his wife and kids in the house he helped build. He would work in the yard restoring antique trucks and family was a top priority.

“He was just always a good brother, a sweet brother. We were always close,” says Lydia.

But in September of 2010 Lydia Carter says her brother’s health took an unexpected turn.

“He became very anxiety ridden, didn’t want to be still, he’d get in his truck and drive a lot,” explains Lydia.

Four months later it got worse, his head started to dip and his back gave way leaving him hunched over. And in November he could no longer speak.

Testing for dementia was scheduled but Robert never made it to the appointment. This brief home video shows just how difficult it was for him to even walk.

So how could a man in this condition, and who could barely see three feet in front of him end up in a clear cut like this and simply vanish without a trace?

A marker, which still stands today was the last place he was reported seen.

“What’s it like seeing the marker over there after four or five years now?” asks FOX16’s Kevin Kelly.

“It makes me sad,” says Lydia.

The Yell County Sheriff’s Department, and State Police along with family and neighbors scoured the entire field from top to bottom searching barns, cars even nearby wells one that is only a few hundred yards away from her brother’s home.

“I just know that my husband and a couple of the neighbors had come down here and searched this with a hook and pole.”

They found nothing.

“And then the rumors started, well someone drove through here and picked him up and hauled him off,” explains Lydia.

One such rumor was that his body was dumped at Spring Lake. Divers hit the water. Sonar was used but again, nothing was found. It’s been that way ever since.

“It’s been pretty rough. It’s been rougher on my dad,” says Lydia.

Gene Cox thinks about his son every day.

“I get up at night and I go out and look. He comes to me in my dreams,” says Gene.

It’s a dream he hopes one day will no longer haunt him, or his daughter.

A death certificate was issued 18 months after Robert Cox was reported missing. But according to Chief Deputy John Foster with the Yell County Sheriff’s Department, the case is still active. He also had this to say:

“We wish that we could share more information but since this is a complex active investigation into an incident which occurred under suspicious circumstances we have to consider all possibilities and maintain the integrity of the investigation.”

If you have any information on this case, please see the links below:

Yell County Sheriff’s Department

National Missing and Unidentified Persons System — NAMUS

Arkansas Crime Information Center — Missing Persons Information

Missing Persons and Unsolved Cold Cases / Arkansas

FBI/Missing in Arkansas




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