ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – You may have seen Clay Rodman’s picture on billboards across the Key City, and police and family still receive tips about what happened to him when he went missing almost six years ago.
“Well, when I hear the trains, I always think of Clay because I connect that to Abilene,” Allin Rodman, Clay’s father says.
May 1, 2013, Clay Rodman was booked into the Taylor County Jail for public intoxication and released that same day, but once he walked out those doors, he wouldn’t be seen or heard from again.
“Once he was released is where the questions begin as to where he went and the circumstances as to why he went missing,” Abilene Police Detective Joshua Ward says.
One month later, Allin Rodman reported his son missing to the Abilene Police Department.
“He had reason to believe that he was in danger,” Detective Ward says.
That’s where Detective Joshua Ward began his investigation.
“There have been several people that we have looked into that possibly have information pertaining to the circumstances of Clay’s dissappearance,” Ward says.
From billboards, flyers, and even hiring a private investigator, Clay’s family is determined to get answers.
“No physical evidence. Makes it real hard. All you got is two or three stories that match up a little bit,” Rodman says.
Throughout the years, these stories continue. Four years after his dissappearance, police received a tip Clay’s body could be found at a home on the 3900 block of Old Anson Road, but it was just another dead end.
“The whole family feels completely comfortable that Clay did die in the month of May. Don’t know the date, but it was probably somewhere in the first half of May 2013, we feel comfortable with that. We’ve fully accepted that,” Clay’s father says.
Despite coming to terms with clay’s death, his family continues the search.
“As long as the billboards are there, it’s a reminder to the public that someone knows what happened to him and we’re still looking for him,” Detective Ward says.
Not for a conviciton, but reunification, however that may be.
“If it needs to come anonymously that’s fine and there’s ways to do that, and then we could go find Clay’s body and give him a proper burial and have a closure to it,” Rodman says.
But for now, Clay’s family is hoping someday they’ll get the answers they’ve been seeking for almost six years.
The private investigator hired by the family is still conducting interviews and both he and the Abilene Police Department say they will exhaust every lead until Rodman is found.
This story is part of the Catalyst project “Mayberry Texas,” (link to www.mayberrymissing.com) a statewide investigation into the 5,628 active missing persons cases in the state since 1998. Explore an interactive map of some of the cases and learn about a solution that could help families find closure.