Information regarding the location of the gas station has been updated, along with additional details.
BLACKWELL, Okla. (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has released a new lead in the search for a missing 60-year-old woman.
Cathy James hasn’t been seen by her loved ones in nearly a month, according to her niece Brittany Beal.
When KFOR last brought you the story, the only clue her family had was bodycam footage from Tonkawa police officers.
That’s when the mother of three reportedly walked into a stranger’s home, believing she was in Muskogee, Okla. Tonkawa is 160 miles away from Muskogee. It’s a three-hour drive. But after officials with the Grand Lake Mental Health Center performed a mental health evaluation at the request of Tonkawa police , the officers let her go. That happened on Sept. 4.
OSBI officials are hoping Cathy’s newly released surveillance photo inside a Blackwell gas station will help lead investigators to her. KFOR talked to Cathy’s niece, who is begging for answers in her aunt’s disappearance.
“Where can she really be at? Why isn’t she reaching out?” asked Brittany Beal.
In the early morning hours of Sept. 5, Cathy made a stop at a nearby Casey’s gas station from midnight to 4 a.m., according to an OSBI spokesperson.
“Her car was parked out front, and she was just inside,” said Brook Arbeitman with the OSBI. “She didn’t really engage much, as my understanding with the clerk, but was kind of there and looking outside.”
Cathy’s white Dodge Charger was found without gas on I-35 south near Perry on September 10, according to Abeitman. Her purse and cell phone were left inside the car. The car was impounded on Sept. 12.
“Our tools that we have that are able to locate somebody that is missing, all those tools are in her car on the side of the road,” said Abeitman.
Authorities can’t track Cathy’s location or debit card transactions.
“That’s another week that she could just be laying somewhere not alive,” said Beal. “It’s another week that we are all sitting here hoping and praying that we get a call that she’s alive.”
The OSBI and Cathy’s family are begging anyone with information to come forward. Investigators told KFOR their investigation into Cathy’s disappearance depends on public input.
“It’s really going to take somebody from the public recognizing her and letting us know at this point of time,” said Abeitman.
“Without help from the people that go through there, live through there, what else am I supposed to do?” said Beal.
Cathy was not a Tonkawa resident, but that is the last place she was seen on Sept. 5.
Please call OSBI at (800) 522-8017 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have seen James or have any information on her whereabouts.