Franklin Co. Man Missing for Four Months

Vinton, VA - Investigators are again asking for help in finding a missing 24-year old Franklin County man who hasn't been heard from for four months now.

Christopher Douthat was last seen October 25 after a friend dropped him off at a downtown Roanoke bar.

Originally, Douthat was thought to have last been seen in Vinton, but in the timeline laid out by investigators, they have been able to determine his last known location to that of a Food Lion store in southeast Roanoke.

Family and friends say Douthat is a good man, with a good heart, who had personal struggles that at times could cause him trouble.

Since the birth of his daughter in March, however the same people insist Douthat was turning it all around, for the better, for her.

Part of the reason Vinton Police are calling his disappearance "suspicious".

"There's parts of his life that he wouldn't just want to leave behind. There's family that cares about him. He still has a remaining daughter that he has a good relationship with," said Detective Sergeant J.M. Testerman with the Vinton Police.

Detectives have been able to trace Douthat's final known movements to the Vinton Kroger, around 3:30 p.m. on October 25.

There, he cashed his paycheck before a friend dropped him off at this bar around four.

Bar patrons say they recall him in Chap's until about eight.

Another friend says she was supposed to meet Christopher Douthat at the Food Lion in southeast Roanoke at 5 p.m. The friend also said that Douthat told her that he had plans to meet a friend, in a parking lot, before she arrived. When she got here, the friend said, Douthat was nowhere to be found.

While there is no video evidence backing either story, cell phone records back the Food Lion exchange.

Douthat told his friend he was in this parking lot, and that's the last anyone has heard or seen from him since.

"Anything is possible. I mean there was obviously certain elements regarding his lifestyle that could have put him in danger. We're not leaning one way or the other at this point," Testerman said.

Vinton Police have the case because it was originally thought Douthat disappeared from his job located in Vinton.

The new timeline shows that was not the case, which now has Franklin County and Roanoke City involved.

A meeting with all agencies, including State Police, is being scheduled for the coming days.

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