Family searches for missing Hickory man; police suspect foul play


CATAWBA, N.C. - Family and friends of a missing elderly man spent much of Saturday searching for the 70-year-old.

Kenneth Mohler was last seen at his job at Gregory Wood Products in Newton Thursday night. He never came home.

"It's devastating. I haven't gotten any sleep since the day before yesterday been up praying," said Mohler's sister-in-law, Tammy Pettry.

She said Mohler, who's from Hickory, went to work around 4:30 p.m. Thursday to fix a water line. The last time anyone heard from Mohler was when he called the owner around 8:00 p.m. to report finishing the job.

Investigators with the Catawba County Sheriff's Office said he may have been abducted.

Deputies searched the grounds of Gregory Wood Products for seven hours Friday and found Mohler's truck and glasses. They also found his cell phone and keys buried in the dirt.

Authorities said there was some kind of struggle, but didn't find any weapons or blood.

 Saturday an investigator told Eyewitness News they wanted to question a truck driver who may have seen Mohler Thursday. Deputies received a tip that the truck driver parked his truck at Gregory Wood Products Thursday night and left early Friday morning.

Saturday friends and family members used walking sticks to comb through his work area again.

"It's unreal, it's just like a movie script," said friend David Sigmon.

Investigators said they would continue to search for the truck driver. Anyone with any information in the case is asked to call the Catawba County Sheriff’s office at 828-464-5241