SHELBY COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - A Shelby County family is hoping for a reason to be thankful after issuing a plea for any help finding their loved one.
The family of Jim Anderson, 74, said he disappeared on Nov. 17 after leaving his home around 3 a.m. Anderson’s daughter said going a day or so without contact is odd for him, not to mention the circumstances in which he left that night.
Anderson’s daughter, Betty Basham, said Anderson left home driving a 2002 white extended cab Chevrolet pickup truck with a blue stripe along the bottom. The truck has Texas plates 1-J-T-2-0-3.
The family is offering a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to Anderson’s whereabouts. Authorities ask anyone who spots Anderson or knows anything about his whereabouts to contact your local authorities right away.
Every time the phone rings there’s a skipped breath. They hope someone has found Jimmy Ray Anderson. He’s Betty Basham’s father and next-door neighbor.
"It's like Daddy walked out of the house, got in his truck and just became a ghost. Just vanished," said Basham.
The family says a surveillance camera videotaped Anderson leaving the home where he lived for 30 years. For now, the video isn’t being shared publicly, but what a granddaughter describes is mystifying.
"He came out this door, straight back, like there was nothing wrong with him,” described granddaughter K’Teria Clifton.
Clifton said her grandfather normally used a walker. Family members said Anderson did not take his walker, nor his cell phone.
“He walked down this wheelchair ramp. And got in his truck which was parked right here,” illustrated Clifton. “And for 40 minutes he sat in that truck putting it in reverse and then in park. Reverse, park, reverse, park, drive. Brake light, brake light, brake light. This lasted for a solid 40 minutes before he finally backed out."
In the home at the time of Anderson's disappearance were Anderson's son, three grandchildren and another daughter.
Basham says the morning routine she and her dad have had for the last three years abruptly ended.
"We would sit at the dining room table and drink our coffee, watch the news and just talk."
Sometimes discussion was about Anderson's wife. She died two years ago and is buried in a family plot steps from the widower's home.
“It’s very bizarre he would go missing three o’clock in the morning on a Sunday because he’s a very, very big churchgoer,” commented Clifton.
The deacon sang regularly at church services. Associate pastor Tuffy Green is also the Timpson fire chief. He participated in an extensive search.
"DPS officers, constables, sheriff's department, fire department. We ended up calling a plane from Houston," said Green.
On Thanksgiving out of town family members will arrive. Searching and dinner are planned.
“We're going to do both,” said Basham. ‘"And hope that PaPaw shows up so we can just give him some stuffing. Here's some turkey PaPaw," interjected Clifton.
This Thanksgiving hope will carry them thru. Yet, a family cemetery located between a father and a daughter's home is a constant reminder of their biggest fear that something bad may have happened to Jimmy Ray Anderson.
If you have any information on the location of Anderson, please contact the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office at 936.598.5601.