ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Dive crews will be in the Roanoke River at the Blue Ridge Parkway Thursday morning as the search for a missing Bedford County man continues.
Brent Gibson disappeared a week ago and his family wants closure at this point, good or bad.
Emotions spilled over on day seven of the search for Gibson as National Park Service Park Rangers briefed family and friends at sundown that there were no new developments. While tempers flared it ended with a park ranger sharing embraces with two of Gibson’s family members.
They’re not giving up, but Gibson’s cousin Nicky Bowyer said staying patient is growing difficult.
“Honestly we’re a wreck, we are just exhausted, tired and we want answers, and this has been the longest week of our life,” Bowyer said.
Gibson went missing Wednesday, March 3, last seen leaving his job in Vinton. His truck and belongings were found at the Roanoke River Overlook parking lot on the Blue Ridge Parkway a few hours later.
In the time since, 150 people have come out to volunteer, including a mass search on Saturday. They’ve hiked along the banks of the river and paddled down the middle of it looking for any sign of Gibson. Bowyer said about a third of them are total strangers, with no connection to the Gibson family.
“The fact that they took time out of their day to come help us search or to stop and make a donation or to donate online has been overwhelming,” Bowyer said.
10 News asked the National Park Service if the investigation has turned criminal, but a spokeswoman said they had no updates to share. Gibson’s family said they know suicide is a possibility, but their gut says that’s just not right.
“There’s just tons of red flags popping up all over the place and we are wondering what it could be. Is it something suspicious out there and we just have so many questions,” Bowyer said.
They’ve created a Facebook page called “Bring Brent Home” to share information and collect tips and they’re thankful for all the first responders who have helped as well.
At this point, they just want something to start making sense.
“It’s amazing to know that these resources are available but at the same time, a week in, why haven’t we found him yet?” Bowyer said. “That’s the biggest question.”