Crime

Family of missing man offering $5,000 reward in search for Akridge

The family of a mentally impaired man who has been missing for nearly six weeks is offering a $5,000 to anyone who finds him.

Joel Akridge's relatives have invited the public to a join them Saturday as they search for 53-year-old Akridge at 3 p.m. and honor him during a 8 p.m. vigil. Both ceremonies will kick off at a residence at 5827 Valleybrook Road.

Patricia Koonce cried as she expressed how painful it has been for her since her brother went missing on March 28. Described as a 5-foot-11 tall white man with brown hair and eyes, Akridge was last seen walking to the Dollar General on Amber Drive.

Koonce said that her brother, who weighs 200 pounds, walked to the Dollar General on a daily basis, but he would always return home before the day was over. Akridge functions at a third grade reading level, and he is on prescription heart medication, officials said in the March release.

"There are constant tears," Koonce said as she described life after Akrdige went missing. "I've lost over 50 pounds since he's went missing. We just don't know where to go."

Koonce said it would be a relief to find her sibling, a person she described as the sweetest man in the world.

"I just want this to be solved one or another," Koonce said. "I just want to know what happened to my brother."

During the search, the group will be handing out flyers with Akridge's photo and information as the travel from the residence on Valleybrook Drive to the Dollar General on Amber Drive. They will reflect on Akrdige's kind personality at the 8 p.m. candlelight vigil.

Any information regarding Akrige's whereabouts can be reported to the Columbus Police Department Bureau of Investigative Services at (706) 653–3400 or (706) 653–3449. The public may also call 911 with information.

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