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A Texas father has been found ‘wandering in the woods’ over a week after he mysteriously vanished on a morning walk.
Colby Richards, 31, disappeared in the early hours of May 26 after leaving his home without his phone or wallet, leading to a frantic week-long manhunt.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday that the father-of-two was found ‘safe walking in the area of Research Forest and Kuykendahl, The Woodlands.’
‘Hallelujah and praise the Lord!!! Colby has been found alive! We don’t have details yet, but we are overjoyed at the positive outcome. We will share what we can when we can,’ his family wrote on Facebook after his discovery.
Colby Richards (pictured) disappeared from his Montgomery County, Texas on May 26
Richards, an engineer, part-time baseball coach, and father to a three-year-old daughter and one-year-old son, was transferred to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Mental Health Unit shortly after he was found.
The sheriff’s department said the 31-year-old is set to speak with detectives as they seek to understand why he disappeared for over a week.
‘However, it will be some time before he is interviewed,’ the department added.
In a follow up social media post after he was found, Richards’ family said he is currently ‘recovering in the hospital’.
‘We aren’t sure when he will be released,’ they continued. ‘He is in good hands with the medical team and we are hoping for a full recovery.
‘We cannot thank everyone enough for the efforts searching for him as well as the Sheriff’s department, MoCoSAR, GulfSAR, and each and every person who showed up to search for him whether in person or online.
‘Your love and prayers have been felt by our entire family this week. I’m gonna go FINALLY get some rest and have a good cry. Thank you again.’
Richards was found ‘wandering through the woods’ a week after he mysteriously vanished
Callie Richards (left) said the details around her husband’s disappearance were ‘bizarre’
The father is currently being treated by mental health professionals after he was discovered
The father’s disappearance sparked an urgent search after he mysteriously went missing at around 5am.
His wife, Callie Richards, 34, says she woke early to find her six-foot-three spouse strangely missing. She discovered that he left without his phone or wallet, and left the home’s back gate open.
Cops would later discover a Yeti coffee tumbler belonging to the dad as they scoured the forest near his backyard.
On day four of the search, his wife said the ‘bizarre’ disappearance had left her and authorities scratching their heads.
‘It feels like there’s just so many things – so many possibilities – it’s really hard not to wonder all of the things that could have happened,’ she told Fox 26.
‘Normally, in the morning he leaves around 6:30 for work,’ the mom, visibly emotional, said of the strange disappearance.
‘He got up at some point and I could just feel that he wasn’t there. I go downstairs – he’s not down there. He’s nowhere.’
Callie Richards added that her husband typically wakes up for work around that time, at around 5 or 6 a.m., but that morning, she did not hear him getting ready.
When Callie went outside to investigate, she noticed the back gate to her home was left open – an unusual occurrence for two reasons, according Callie.
The first, she said, was the fact that Richards usually leaves for his morning routine through the front – and while hiking and meditating in quiet areas is not atypical for the missing father, it’s not part of his usual pre-work routine.
The second, she told the station with tears in her eyes, is simply the detail that the dad would have usually been sure to lock the gate to the family home when leaving – raising, in her mind, a red flag.
‘I go outside – I can see that the back gate is open,’ she said Monday. ‘He never goes out the back gate. That’s not something typical.
‘Right away, I just knew something wasn’t right. I called 911.’
Jake Stovall, the leader of a nonprofit that helped search for the dad, said at the time the disappearance left him baffled, adding: ‘In 19 years, I’ve never seen a case like this.’
An urgent week-long search for the father was launched following his disappearance
A missing persons poster from Richards’ disappearance
She added that the devastating disappearance was having a heartbreaking effect on their young children, the eldest of whom had become aware of the situation.
‘My daughter knows,’ she conceded Monday. ‘Initially, we tried to keep it quiet until we could get more information, but she knows.
‘She’s been asking questions, like morbid questions. She’s very smart. She’s very aware of what’s going on.’
She added of her one-year-old: ‘My son has been leeching to me.’
Source: DailyMail UK