Christopher Carlton Thompkins did not disappear without a trace, but a trace of the 20-year-old is all searchers found when he was last seen Jan. 25, 2002.
Antonio Carter of the National Joshua Generation Empowerment Movement and other activists addressed the Thompkins mystery during a news conference Tuesday at the Columbus Government Center.
Thompkins vanished while working with a four-man survey crew in woods between Warm Springs Road and Georgia 85 near County Line Road in Harris County.
Coworkers reported they last saw Thompkins as they walked in the same direction about 50 feet apart. The head of the survey crew learned of Thompkins' disappearance about 1 p.m.
Family and friends launched a search that day. They found one of his boots, some tools, a blue fiber from his pants and 12 cents on the ground.
Months later a landowner found the other work boot on property off Interstate 85, miles from where the first turned up.
That's all anyone found: No other trace has shown up since.
Born Dec. 28, Thompkins this year would have turned 34.
He stood 5 feet, 7 inches, weighed 124 pounds and had a tattoo of an ice cream cone bearing the name “Chris” on his right arm. When last seen, he was wearing a black shirt, a blue and gray plaid jacket with a gray hood and navy blue Dickies work pants.
Friends and family do not believe Thompkins vanished of his own volition.
“He’s not the type of person who’s just going to walk away,” friend Jasmine Houston said at the news conference.
Carter said he doesn’t want people to forget Thompkins.
“We just want people to be mindful…. We will not forget about this,” he said.
The family asked that anyone with tips call 706-289-5229.