March 06, 2019 10:17 PM
The family of a missing east metro father is boosting its efforts to find him.
A reward is now being offered, a private investigator has been hired and 24-year-old Ralph Bell has been added to the state's list of missing persons.
He was last seen more than two months ago in Stillwater. He shared an apartment with his longtime girlfriend and mother of their two daughters. She is pregnant and expecting a son.
Bell left the apartment after what was described as a minor disagreement with his girlfriend. His car was found later that night in Roseville. The engine was running, yet the vehicle was empty.
"It is very suspicious and curious," his mother Corhea Taylor said. "He wouldn't just leave without letting me know, or anyone (know), where he was going."
Taylor described not knowing her son's whereabouts as "torture." She said Ralph was always a mama's boy, and that bond is what pushes her past the tears and through the pain to do whatever it takes to find him.
"I want answers about my son," she said. "I really want to know where my son is. I don't want people to forget. He deserves to be found."
Taylor has turned to Kirk Bares with Elite Insight Investigations for additional help.
"The more time that passes, the more concerned we become," Bares said.
Elite Insight said there is up-to-a-$15,000 reward being offered for information leading directly to Bell. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has added him to the state's list of missing persons.
His family has shared flyers all over the east metro. Stillwater police have called his disappearance suspicious, and officers have canvassed the area along Greeley Street where his apartment was located.
Loved ones continue their own searches, including at the cul-de-sac where his car was found.
"The fact that the car was left running and just abandoned, it suggests maybe there was foul play," Bares said.
Since going missing on Dec. 20, Bell has now missed Christmas, an anniversary and his own birthday. The birth of his son is expected any day now.
"He might not be important to other people, but he was to me," his mother said. "He was everything to me."
Investigators have said everything indicates Bell was a hardworking young father, doing the best he could for his family.
Evidence from his car is being processed, and the surveillance footage is being reviewed for possible leads.
Updated: March 06, 2019 10:17 PM
Created: March 06, 2019 09:29 PM
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