Where Is Patrick? Police And Residents Continue Search In Mexico
Updated 7:58 p.m.
Police and residents in the Mexican state of Chihuahua are continuing their land-and-air search for a 34-year-old Davidson man who has been missing for a week.
Patrick Braxton-Andrew has not been seen since Oct. 28, when he left his hotel in the town of Urique for a walk. When he did not return, his hotel reported him missing.
Indigenous people who live in the area have joined the search, which now includes about 100 police officers, plus an airplane, drones and search dogs, according to the Chihuahua prosecutor's office.
"They're adding people and using more of the indigenous people who live there to search remote areas because they feel they need to expand the search," said Nancy Slagle of Davidson, a close friend of the man's family.
"There's a very active search and rescue going on, and the family has confidence in the teams that are doing the search," Slagle added.
Urique is a former mining village at the base of a canyon that is part of the Copper Canyon National Park. The Associated Press reports the canyon has seen violent conflicts over illegal logging, which locals accuse of being fronts for money laundering by Mexican drug cartels.
Braxton-Andrew is a Spanish teacher at Woodlawn School, near Davidson. He's an avid hiker and runner and is fluent in Spanish. He was traveling by himself in Urique. He was supposed to meet his brother in Mexico City last Tuesday but did not show up.
His parents, Jean Braxton and Gary Andrew, are also traveling in Mexico. They have been working with Mexican authorities and the US Embassy.
In a statement provided to the Associated Press, they said they have not given up hope. "We just want to bring him home. If anyone saw him or has any information on his potential whereabouts, please let the authorities know. Any information could be valuable and we need help finding Patrick," they said.
Friends have started a Facebook page to spread the word about Braxton-Andrew's disappearance and to appeal for help. Over the weekend, posts on the page urged people to call or email North Carolina U.S. Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis to push for expanded help in the search.
An update from authorities in Chihuahua Monday said more than 100 officers from multiple agencies are looking for Braxton-Andrew. They've expanded their search to walking trails in five communities around Urique. The announcement urges locals to call 911 if they've seen him.
Facebook.com, "Missing/Desaparecido - Patrick Braxton-Andrew"
Nov. 5, 2018, Chihuahua state government update, "Continua operativo teirra-aire para localizar a estadounidense desaparacido en Urique" ("Air and land operation continues to locate disappeared U.S. man in Urique.") (Spanish)
Nov. 1, 2018, Chihuahua State Prosecutor's office web post, "Colabora la CES en búsqueda de extranjero desaparecido en Urique" ("CES collaborates in search of disappeared foreigner in Urique") (Spanish)