Police, relatives of missing Stillwater father concerned for his welfare

December 30, 2018 10:16 PM

Where is 24-year-old Ralph Bell?

The beloved father and son was last seen leaving the Greeley Street home in Stillwater that he shared with his longtime girlfriend and their children on Dec. 20.

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Kayla Rakotz said since the day they met as teenagers, they haven't spent a single night apart, and she's worried sick.

"Did someone do something to him? People do have breakdowns, I mean there are breaks in life, I'm hoping that's what the case is," she said.

Because for her and the rest of Bell's relatives, the alternative is too upsetting.

"Things are not adding up to me," said his mother, Corhea Taylor. 

Sunday, Bell's relatives set out on their journey to find him. They searched in and around the apartment complex, moved onto Highway 36 and spread out even further to locate anything connected to Bell. 

Also Sunday, Stillwater police and the Washington County Sheriff's Office referred to the "unusual circumstances" in Bell's disappearance and said they are investigating, too. 

It was about 10 p.m. on Dec. 20 when Rakotz said she and Bell had a minor fight, like any couple occasionally does. Rakotz said Bell didn't like confrontation and he left the apartment to cool off. 

She wasn't overly concerned until a call came later that night that his car was located with the engine still running, sitting in a little-known cul-de-sac in Roseville. It was empty.

Rakotz said Bell wasn't the type to walk away from his life.

"His number one priority in life was his kids, he would go to home, come home, he's a family man, that's it," she said.

RELATED: Stillwater police: Missing 24-year-old man last seen Dec. 20

The couple has two daughters together, ages 2 and 4, and a third baby is on its way. Rakotz is six months pregnant with their son.

"I love him. I just need confirmation he's OK, whatever the circumstances," Rakotz said.

Since Bell curiously vanished, relatives said he's missed the couple's seven-year anniversary, Christmas and even his own birthday.

"He's never missed a birthday with the family, we still celebrate that together. He's a family man, works, goes home, takes care of his family and he's a mama's boy, too. He would definitely stay in contact with me," said Taylor.

Bell's longtime girlfriend said he was excited with plans in the works to open his own business - a skating rink.

"He has so many goals, so much to look forward to in the future, I just don't see him throwing it all away," said Rakotz.

Rakotz confirmed investigators recovered Bell's cell phone and are going through it, reviewing text messages and phone calls. Bell's employer also said he's been a no-show at work, which is unlike him.

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Beth McDonough

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