PAULS VALLEY, Okla. – Imagine your loved one goes missing. No phone calls. No sightings. No evidence for police.
In August of last year, 60-year-old Bobby McNutt disappeared from his Pauls Valley home. Investigators had nothing to work with until handwritten clues started surfacing inside his home and inside his mailbox.
“You just don’t disappear like that without leaving something,” said Bobby’s brother, David McNutt.
Vanished without a trace.
“It almost seems like he walked out of the house to go somewhere and just never returned,” said Pauls Valley Assistant Police Chief Derrick Jolley.
Not one piece of solid evidence.
“He was sort of a loner,” David said.
A lot of people around town knew Bobby. Pauls Valley is not very big.
Bobby has lived in the area most of his life and went everywhere on his bike. It is his only way to get around. He does not have a car.
“The last time I saw him, I was going to town,” David said. “I saw him on his bicycle, and I drove by and he turned around and looked. I was looking through the mirror, and that was the last time I saw him.”
That was last year in August, and it seems as though, the last time each of Bobby’s brothers saw him, he was riding around town on his bike.
“We stopped at the store to get something to drink, and he pulled up on his bike and he waved as he went into the store,” said his brother, Tony Lowry. “I didn’t know that was the last time… I didn’t know he was waving for maybe the last time.”
A few more days pass and, when Lowry no longer saw Bobby coming and going from his house next door, he crawled through the window to check on him.
The house was just as Bobby left it. And, outside was his bike.
But, Bobby was nowhere to be found – until the family went back inside again and found a note. That note is now in police custody as evidence.
“Here, we have the note that the family said they found,” Jolley said. “Be back tomorrow or Saturday scribbled out. Bobby.”
And, then another note appeared in Bobby’s mailbox.
“At a later point, we have family members bring us some notes that they said came from the house,” Jolley said.
On that note was the name of someone who police were asked to investigate if Bobby went missing. Police interviewed that person multiple times but have no reason to believe who is behind Bobby’s disappearance.
The only thing left to do was to compare the handwriting from both of the notes to the handwriting on a Christmas card Bobby had sent to his family.
But, there is a problem. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation does not provide that service.
“That’s why I’m struggling right now,” Jolley said. “Yes. That’s the plan. OSBI does not do that… I’ve reached out to the FBI.”
If that does not work, the department will have to hire an outside service that will cost hundreds of dollars – money the department does not have.
Say Bobby didn’t write that. Why would somebody do that?
“And, that I don’t know,” Jolley said.
Was it someone trying to throw off the investigation? Or were they really Bobby’s last words to his family?
“I think it’s very odd that these would just appear,” Jolley said. “I think it’s odd that he would leave a note inside his house when he lives alone.”
“The note in the mailbox kind of confused me,” David said. “His bike is still there. He’s gone.”
“He has no social security income, no disability income,” Jolley said. “He doesn’t have employment. He has no phone at this time. So, we basically have nothing to track him. We did find out that he has a food stamp card through DHS, which we made contact with them. He’d used it regularly right up until about the end of August, and then it stopped.”
And, that is where the last know tracks of Bobby’s whereabouts go cold.
“I just hope that, if he is out there, to let us know,” David said. “I know somebody knows where he is. Somebody does. I don’t know who.”
If you know anything about the disappearance of Bobby, contact the Pauls Valley Police Department.