Texas dad vanishes after wife makes odd discovery in backyard

Colby Richards, a 31-year-old Texas father, has been missing since he apparently left his home in Spring, Texas, the morning of May 24.

His wife, Callie Richards, noticed her husband wake up early that Friday around 5 a.m., but when he did not return to their bedroom to get ready for work, she got up to check on him, according to Colby's cousin, Allison Fox.


(Source: Montgomery County Sheriff's Office)

"He wasn't in the house, so she checked the backyard … and she noticed that the back gate was open, which was atypical. He never leaves the house that way, and they would never leave the gate open anyway because they have a dog and two small children," Fox told Fox News Digital.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office deployed search teams to the area and "found a water bottle of his near the trailhead in the wooded area with trails and stuff behind where they live," Fox said.

Colby did not take his phone or wallet with him when he left his house that morning.

"Search and rescue, so far, has been out for several days. … We've had everything from people on foot, thermal drones, regular visual drones, people on ATVs, people on horseback and people driving around in their cars checking to see if there are security cameras or doorbell cameras that might have footage," Fox said. "And we've been trying to get the word out to everybody that if they see him, or they see anything out of the ordinary … to call the sheriff's department."


(Source: Montgomery County Sheriff's Office)

The Richards' home on Musgrove Place in Spring has a backyard with a gate that opens up to a street, and across that street is an entrance to a Greenway Trail where Colby's water bottle was found.

Fox said it was normal for Colby to wake up around 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. for work. He had recently started a part-time job at an engineering firm in the area but also works part-time as a baseball coach – something he's been doing for years.

He "did like to go out" onto the Greenway for walks, sometimes in the morning and sometimes after work, but it was not a regular occurrence, his cousin explained.

She added that the Woodlands is a generally safe area with certain small pockets that people avoid, and she does not believe Colby had issues with anyone who may have been watching or stalking him.


(Source: Montgomery County Sheriff's Office)

"We don't really know," she said. "He's … a very nice guy, and the idea that somebody having a problem with him or whatever is pretty perplexing to us."

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office called off their search in the Woodlands area on Wednesday morning, according to the Richards family. They are continuing to organize volunteer searches in the area.

The family has created a GoFundMe page titled "Help us find Colby Richards" to raise funds for the volunteer search.

Colby was last seen wearing a T-shirt, black shorts and gray Under Armour sneakers.

This article first appeared on FOXNews.com. Read More: Texas dad vanishes after wife makes odd discovery in backyard