Franklin County family doesn’t lose hope for son who’s been missing for nearly 8 years

Chris Douthat went missing in 2013

October 25th marks 8 years since a Vinton man vanished seemingly without a trace.

VINTON, Va. – October 25th marks 8 years since a Franklin County man vanished seemingly without a trace. All these years later, his family continues to advocate on his behalf but now is doing so for other families of missing persons as well.

Every day, reports show thousands of people are reported missing nationwide. Even during a pandemic, FBI data shows over 543,000 people were reported missing in 2020. On any given day in Virginia, there are about 650 people missing and half are children, according to state officials.

“No parent should have to go through this,” said Mary Douthat.

Her son, Chris Douthat, has been missing since 2013.

Chris was dropped off by his mother at Vinton Roofing at approximately 1:30 p.m. on October 25, 2013. He was later seen at the Vinton Kroger and near Chaps Tavern that day but did not show up to meet a friend at the Bennington Street Food Lion that afternoon.

For years, Chris has been a news headline. Each year we update his story, but eventually, the coverage fades.

There are so many missing persons locally who go without making on the news or being spread across social media.

Chris had a life that mattered. He is a son, a brother, and a lover of all things carts. In fact, he made a career out of it.

“Newspapers and the media need to keep giving updates and keep this going so our missing loved ones aren’t forgotten,” said Mary Douthat. “Not just my son, but anyone that has somebody missing. This is not right. This is not fair to our families…the not knowing.”

If you have any information on what happened to Chris Douthat, call Virginia State Police at 540-375-9589.

About the Author:

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors 10 News at 6 and 11 on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.