Possible Break in Case of Man Missing One Year

(KATV) Benton - Police continue to follow leads in the case of a Benton man missing without a trace for nearly a year.

The investigation into Joe Lee Richards Junior's disappearance started October 8, 2010.

Recent events led police to a house in Traskwood Monday, believed to be a crime scene related to the case.

Joe Lee Richards Senior is in the hospital, he told Channel Seven by phone he wants his sons case solved so he can give him a proper burial if he is dead. Relatives say his health is going down worrying about his son.

"It's been a long year, we've gone through a lot just with him being missing. Not knowing when someone has disappeared that's the worst thing." A Sheriff's Deputy, Mike Richards hasn't given up hope that he'll be reunited with his brother.

He adds, "He was staying with my dad at the time. He was there when my dad went to bed and the next morning he was gone."

Relatives think Joe Lee Richards Junior left with someone he trusted. He didn't have his wallet, keys, truck or cell phone and hasn't been heard from since.

Lt. Kevin Russell with the Benton Police Department says, "It kind of lead us to believe, it's an uneasy feeling so we want to delve further into it and of course with this break through with a search warrant, it will hopefully provide us some new clues to go on."

Interviews lead police to this home [pictured] in Traskwood Monday, an area Richards was familiar with and spent time with friends. The home is believed to be a crime scene related to the case that's been growing cold.

Lt. Russell concludes, "We have not given up on this case."

"However it's going to turn out, we want an end to it," Mike Richards adds.

Joe Lee Richards Junior is 39-years old and has two-kids.

No details are being released about what, if anything investigators found at the house Monday because it is an on going investigation.

Mike Richards is a Saline County Sheriff's Deputy, but he is not helping in his brothers missing persons case. He is treated just like family and given limited information.

Benton Police, the FBI, the State Crime Lab and Saline County Sheriff's office are also working the case.

If you have any information contact the Saline County Sheriff's Office at (501) 303-5608, or the Benton Police Department at (501) 778-1171 or 315-TIPS.