• Deputies search for missing Raleigh man after car found in York County

    By: Gina Esposito


    YORK COUNTY, S.C. - The York County Sheriff’s Office needs help finding a Raleigh man after his vehicle was found crashed and unoccupied in Catawba.

    Their focus Wednesday was a ground search for Martin Bankhead. Crews were on horseback, ATVs and on foot looking through the woods off Pottery Road near Cureton Ferry Road. 

    Bankhead has not yet been located.

    We first updated WSOCTV news app users with a notification about the search just after 9:30 a.m. Wednesday so they'd be aware of the large police presence.

    Reporter Gina Esposito is with York County deputies as they search for Martin Bankhead along Pottery Road in Catawba. She'll have a full report at 5.

    Download the WSOCTV news app for your smartphone and get updates on this developing story as they come in.

    Deputies said the woods are likely filled with hunting areas and traps for wild animals.

    Officials are unaware of any reason why Bankhead would have come to Catawba in the first place. 

    "We've been told he liked to travel," Trent Faris, with the York County Sheriff's Office, said. "I don't know where he liked to travel, to other states, other countries, why he traveled to Little Catawba. We don't know."

    Bankhead, 61, was reported missing by his wife at 9:45 p.m. on Sunday. His vehicle was found along Cureton Ferry Road in Catawba at 5:45 a.m. the next day. Officials said the driver's side door was open when the car was found.

    Eric McClanahan saw Bankhead's car with its doors open around 8:30 a.m., three hours after someone called 911 to report the car was sitting on the tracks.

    McClanahan said similar crashes happened there before, so he didn’t think anything of it.

    “Maybe two, three times a year someone runs up the railroad track like that,” he said.

    Bankhead’s wife told police he was last seen at his home in Raleigh Sunday evening.

    Since the vehicle was found, investigators have been calling local hospitals and hotels. They also sent out a reverse 911 call to neighbors who live within a mile radius of the crash to try and locate Bankhead.

    “If you’re not from around here, you can get lost pretty easily,” Faris said.

    Bankhead was last seen at his home in Raleigh wearing a purple polo shirt, light khaki pants, and brown shoes. He is 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. He has gray facial hair and wears glasses.

    York County deputies began searching the area near Pottery Road off Cureton Ferry Road around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. 

    Anyone with information is asked to call York County Sheriff’s Office at 803-628-3059 or the Raleigh Police Department at 919-996-3335.

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