On Thursday afternoon, the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference to give updates on Robert Issac Hurt, a 37-year-old father of three, who has been missing for nearly two months.
Hurt, a resident of the Rock Springs Community in Ringgold in Pittsylvania County, was reported missing on Dec. 14, 2018. After leaving his residence on Dec. 9, he did not return home, and family hasn’t heard from him since.
Sheriff Mike Taylor said it was not unusual for Hurt to leave home for a few days when he was stressed, but his wife Emily reached out on Dec. 14 when he did not return and her phone calls to him were not answered.
Taylor gave a timeline of the investigation since Hurt’s disappearance:
On Dec. 12, Hurt’s truck was found in the Goodyear Boulevard area, near the North Carolina state line. The truck was searched and has since been returned to the family.
On Dec. 19, the investigators traveled to North Carolina to interview potential witnesses.
On Dec. 20, Danville police and the sheriff’s office searched Goodyear Boulevard in the area where Hurt’s truck was found and where witnesses put him with cadaver dogs. They did not find Hurt.
On Dec. 25, there was a possible sighting of Hurt, but Danville police determined that it was not him.
On Jan. 5, there was a second search in the city involving several agencies in the same location as the first, but investigators expanded their search area and used drones and cadaver dogs.
There was nothing found during the second search.
“During this time, of course, investigators were meeting with and calling known friends, associates, family members, trying to determine if by chance some one had talked to him, had seen Robert, or knew of his whereabouts, but we were not able to make progress with that,” Taylor said.
The investigation is ongoing and involves three different agencies: Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s office, the Danville Police Department due to Hurt’s truck being found in the city, and the Caswell County Sheriff’s Office because Hurt was determined to have been in that area meeting a friend.
Taylor said they are running a “dual investigation,” where they could be looking for someone who is missing or may want to be missing, but there also could be a criminal nexus.
Hurt is originally from the Bluefield, West Virginia area. In 2007 or 2008, he moved to Roanoke where he met his wife.
Taylor said that Hurt has his “challenges,” but he is a compassionate family person, whose routing involves working and coming home.
At the time of his disappearance, he was working for a company renovating a building off Craghead Street in Danville. Hurt is a carpenter by trade.
Taylor said it is out of Hurt’s normal to not make contact with someone at this point.
“Are we concerned that he may be endangered or hurt somewhere that he can’t get to us? Surely, we are,” Taylor said.
Hurt hasn’t been found yet, and leads received have not pointed them in the direction of Hurt’s location.
“If he doesn’t want to be found, he’s doing a good job at it,” Taylor said.
The Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office and Hurt’s father are offering a $2,000 reward for “credible” information that could lead to Hurt’s whereabouts. Taylor urges anyone with information about Hurt’s location to call law enforcement.
“Forget about the money, think of this family, and think about Robert’s welfare” Taylor said.