UPDATE: Family continues to search for man in Harlan County

By: Michelle Heron, Angela Sparkman Email
By: Michelle Heron, Angela Sparkman Email
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GRAYS KNOB, Ky (WYMT) - Update: 11-29-13:

One Eastern Kentucky family is asking for help from anyone in the Harlan or Middlesboro communities to find Christopher Buell.

“A friend is in need, we need to find him. It’s the Christian thing to do, it’s the right thing to do,” Church member, James Douglas Orick said.

The 35 year old walked away from Harlan ARH on Monday. He suffers from Paranoid Schizophrenia.

“He’s constantly at times, hearing voices. Especially when he’s crashing, he has this fear of people coming to kill him. Like, if he’s at my house, he worries about me because he thinks the people that are coming to kill him will kill me,” Buell’s sister Regina Southard said.

Southard says Thanksgiving was especially hard on not just her, but the entire family.

“I know I’ve cried at least six or seven times during the dinner, because I wanted him here. You almost feel bad because you feel like you should be looking for him instead of eating turkey,” Southard added.

Members from Buell’s church teamed up with his family to post fliers around Middlesboro and Harlan on Friday. A task Orick says describes his congregation well.

“We love each other. We really do. We’re there for each other. That’s the right thing to do,” Orick added.

Buell has a tattoo of a triangle on one of his arms.

If you see Christopher Buell or know where he is, call Harlan State Police at 606-573-3131.

The search continues in Harlan County for missing man Christopher Buell who disappeared on Monday.

There is also a Golden Alert issued for him.

Crews and search dogs from Knott County have joined the search.

Two bloodhounds from the Knott County Rough Terrain Rescue team are looking for any sign of missing man Christopher Buell in Harlan County.

"We're here to help and make sure this family gets back together if at all possible," said Bill Reed, Chief of the Knott County Rough Terrain Rescue.

Family members say 35-year-old Christopher Buell of Middlesboro disappeared from outside of Harlan ARH on Monday afternoon.

His family says he has paranoid schizophrenia and ran away while his mother went inside to get him help.

"The hospital has some video that we have seen and that points to him being in this area and some other clues we have found," said David McGill, Harlan County Emergency Management Director.

Officials are also looking surveillance video from nearby businesses to see if they can spot him.

Other crews are searching in the outdoors. Rescue workers say the cold weather is a concern during the search.

"The weather is going to play a big part in utilizing the dogs. We're going to give it our best effort, but with the weather conditions, it's going to be tough for these guys," said Reed.

They are also worried for Buell's condition in the cold.

"The rescue squad and everybody are definitely putting in their all, and we are going to keep searching until we can hopefully find him safe," said McGill.

Buell was last seen wearing blue jeans, a tan jacket, and a blue toboggan.

Anyone who sees Buell should call the Kentucky State Police post in Harlan at 606-573-3131.

11-26-13 4:00pm

Police, Harlan County Emergency Management workers, and family members are searching for a missing man in Harlan County.

Harlan County Emergency Management Director David McGill says there is a Golden Alert for 35-year-old Christopher Allen Buell of Middlesboro.

He disappeared from the Harlan ARH around 1:00pm on Monday.

Officials say he was walking toward the the Tractor Supply store in the Gray's Knob area.

His sisters Stephanie Buell and Regina Southard do not know where he is.

"He's probably out in the cold somewhere. He might try to find shelter under a bridge somewhere," said Southard.

Southard says their mother had taken him to the hospital for help.

"He's a paranoid schizophrenic, and he was crashing. When she got there, he was telling her he was afraid they were going to kill him, and he did not want to go in. So she went in to get someone to help her. By the time they got back, he was gone and no one has seen him since," said Southard.

The family says they searched the Harlan area and could not find him. Now they are worried he is alone in the cold and worried even more about what could happen to him in the winter storm.

"I'd really like to know he's home and safe or in the hospital safe somewhere on Thanksgiving day. That would be a blessing," Southard said.

The family says he does not have his medication and needs it.

They say he is afraid of strangers, so they ask anyone who sees him to not approach him because he might run away. They say if you see him, call authorities immediately.

"If you do see him, it would mean the world to our parents, to us, to his kids to have him back," Southard said.

Buell was last seen wearing blue jeans, a tan jacket, and a blue toboggan. Buell is 6' 1" and weighs about 170 pounds. He has blue eyes.

Anyone with information should call Kentucky State Police Post in Harlan at 606-573-3131 or your local police department.



Chris Buell, 35, was last seen in leaving the Harlan ARH and walking toward the the Tractor Supply store in the Gray's Knob area. He was wearing a blue toboggan, beige jacket and blue jeans.

Buell is 6-foot-1 and weighs about 170 pounds. He has blue eyes, brown hair and a tattoo on his left arm.

Anyone with information on Buell's whereabouts should call the State Police Post in Harlan at 606-573-3131.

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