New leads are coming in to help family and friends find 26-year-old Delano Burkes, who hasn’t been seen since Nov. 13.
Burkes went missing after bar hopping in the Heights with some friends.
Karen Jeffley, Burkes’ mother, told reporters she would not stop until she finds her son. In a new development, Jeffley said she has been receiving calls and was told that Burkes was possibly seen in downtown Houston.
Texas Equusearch says those tips are extremely helpful and can make a difference.
“To get a phone call today and say that somebody thinks they saw him downtown is great,” she said.
Dozens of people have been out for days looking for Burkes. As flyers go up of him, Jeffley is hoping it catches the right person’s attention.
Friends last saw him around 12:30 a.m. Sunday, after going to multiple bars in the Houston Heights.
Newly retrieved video shows Burkes crossing the street shortly after leaving McIntyre’s Bar near West 19th Street, seemingly in distress.
Jeffley has seen a few videos of him from that night. “Scary,” she said. “Definitely wasn’t in his right mind.”
Jeffley believes her son, who is 5 foot 10 inches, and about 200 pounds, was drunk and possibly drugged that night he went missing. Investigators have not been able to confirm that. However, Jeffley says this behavior is strange.
He left his car behind that night, and now, the family is trying to find his cell phone. “We’re spending a lot of time trying to get approval to get that ping,” she said. “They don’t want to ping it unless it’s a crime or a life-or-death situation. They don’t consider it that.”
Texas EquuSearch is continuing to look for Burkes.
“They are extremely important,” Mark Edwards with EquuSearch said. “Over the 20 years, hundreds of people have been located because the public has seen our flyer, saw a news report, called in the lead, and we’re able to track down the missing person.”
Edwards is working with Burkes’ family. They plan to continue searching again on Sunday, which marks a week since the 26-year-old’s disappearance.
While he doesn’t know exactly what happened to Burkes, he told reporters sometimes people disappear if they are emotionally distressed.
“Quite often they just take off walking and they are capable of walking long distances each day,” Edwards said. “We find them like that alive and well and they get the medical attention they need. I’m hoping this is the case with Delano.”
Jeffley, who never thought she would be in this situation, says friends hanging out must stick together.
“Don’t ever leave your friend or a loved one at a bar, especially when you know they’ve been drinking too much,” she said. “Do not do that.”