Kanawha County deputies hopeful as search for missing man enters fourth week

Mark Coles spotted on KRT surveillance video
Missing man seen crossing county lines
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 6:24 PM EST
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - As the search for 68-year-old Mark Coles enters its fourth week, new surveillance video is leaving investigators encouraged.

The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) released surveillance video from the Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation Authority (KRT) Tuesday of Coles boarding a bus in Rand on Oct. 30.

Coles’ last known contact with his family had been Oct. 28, and a Silver Alert was issued on Nov. 4.

“That was hours and hours and hours of sifting through the footage to be able to track him from Rand,” Chief Deputy Joe Crawford said Wednesday. “Our main goal is to reunite Mr. Coles with his family.”

Deputies said Coles got off the bus near Hughes Creek and they believe he walked along U.S. 60 for several miles crossing into Montgomery, being spotted near the Montgomery Bridge and eventually crossing into Fayette County into the town of Smithers.

“It’s a very small community, a very close community and we do feel very safe here,” Larry Villarreal, a Smithers resident said.

“We generally don’t have very many worries about anything at all, you know, so we do feel very secure in this area.”

KCSO said Coles had last been seen near the Smithers McDonald’s around 11 p.m. on Oct. 30, and his next movements are unknown.

Crawford believes Coles may have had connections in the Gauley Bridge area, but any tip is welcomed.

“Obviously, they may not have thought that he would have thought they could have gone from Rand to Montgomery to Smithers. That’s a pretty good piece,” he said. “It’s in the eastern end of the county, but then it goes into Fayette County so obviously we want people to be vigilant.”

Foul play is not being suspected at this time.

Coles was wearing a blue T-shirt, dark-colored pants, white tennis shoes, a lanyard around his neck and was carrying a large walking stick.

Deputies say there is serious concern for Coles’ well-being due to his age and health issues.

The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information to please contact Detective A. Pile at 304-357-0169