Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Help Me Howard: Missing Son
Do you love someone? If so, what would you do if they suddenly disappeared without a trace? Since they are an adult, the police can't help. No one can. So what do you do to find them? In most places you are out of luck, but not in South Florida where you can turn to the place thousands of people turn to "Help Me Howard" with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- There is one thing we all have in common: a family, a mother, a father, brothers or sisters, maybe even kids. Carol McCoy has six children.
Carol McCoy: "Can't complain, they all have their own families. We have seven grandchildren, expecting another one."
Everyone is fine, except one person; her son Bill.
Patrick Fraser: "Any idea where he is?"
Carol McCoy: "Other than I think he's still in the Miami-Dade/Broward area, I really have no idea."
The last time she spoke to Bill was in June of 2005. A few days later, she tried to call his cell phone to talk again.
Carol McCoy: "And when I tried to call him, the number was disconnected or was out of service, so that's been it. That's the last I have talked to him."
The family did see Bill one more time, on TV. In August of 2005, they spotted him on Seven News, in a story about how to deal with the hot temperatures.
Carol says there was no fight, no reason to drop out of sight, but Bill did.
Carol McCoy: "There isn't a day goes by that I don't think about him."
Carol has called the police in Hollywood where Bill last lived, she called BSO.
Carol McCoy: "And basically been told there's nothing I can do."
She put these posters together and put them in places she thought he might be, but no luck, which leads to the worst option.
Patrick Fraser: "Do you worry that he passed away or something?"
Carol McCoy: "I just don't know. With the way things are, something might have happened."
But if he is alive, Carol just wants him to call. If not her, anyone.
Carol McCoy: "Please call one of his brothers and sisters. Call somebody, let them know your'e OK."
And so she turned to Help Me Howard.
Howard Finkelstein: "If you are an adult, you have the right to remove yourself from your parents and family's life. Legally, they have no right to know anything about you at all, but, while you can hide from your family, you cant hide from the government."
We then went to work. I checked with the division of motor vehicles. Bill's driver's license had expired and had not been renewed. I check with the Department of Corrections. He was not in prison. I checked the morgues. Since his fingerprints are on file, he would show up if he had died. Nothing there either.
Then I contacted the Social Security Administration. They told me they could discuss Bill Sebolt if he were dead, but they could not discuss him, meaning he is alive.
Howard then found old court documents that had a contact number for a former friend of Bill's. She told us where Bill was now working. They pointed us to a place he liked to hang out.
Bill Sebolt: "Mom, I'm fine."
We found him, and that's when he found out how worried his mother had been since he disappeared two and a half years ago.
Bill Sebolt: "I don't want to trouble her when things are bad for me, and maybe that's not bad. I should probably check in once in awhile."
Bill told us he had been down on his luck. That he had been homeless and didn't want to worry his mother, but he now had a place to live, had a job and promised to either call her or go see her soon. Turns out he wants to see her as much as she wants to see him.
Bill Sebolt: "Of course I miss her, she's my mother. I mean, of all the women I have known in my life I love her more than all of them. She's my mom, you only get one of those."
Glad we could find him. A little work and a lot of luck.
Obviously Carol was very happy to find out he is alive and well. We gave her his address. If he doesn't come see her, she is coming to see him.
Now, if you are looking for someone, if they drive, if they own anything or owe anything, that information is public record and is usually on the Internet. Bill was able to disappear so well because he doesn't own anything or drive.
Missing solutions to your problems? Need someone to uncover them? Contact us. If we can't find it, it means, uh,...we weren't lucky that day.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Help Me Howard Contact
helpmehoward@wsvn (please include your contact number when emailing)