8 years later, family of missing Franklin County man still searching for answers


FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Monday, Oct. 25 marked exactly eight years since a Franklin County man, Christopher Ray Douthat, disappeared.

“Eight years as a parent…that’s a long, long time,” said Mary Douthat, Christopher’s mother. “I mean, it really plays on you emotionally because you don’t know who’s responsible, what has happened, and why it happened.”

Mary still remembers her last words to Christopher, as she dropped him off at work eight years ago.

“My last words to him was I said, ‘Son, I love you. Have a great day at work and I’ll talk to you later,'” said Mary.

She went on to say, “I never dreamed in a million years that would be the last time I’d ever get to tell him I loved him.”

The timeline of Christopher’s whereabouts on Oct. 25, 2013 is listed below:

  • Arrived at Vinton Roofing for work between 6:30 and 7 a.m. 
  • Went to a work site at Ashley Plantation in Botetourt County
  • Had lunch at the work site from 11:30 a.m. to noon
  • Got off work around 1:30 p.m.
  • Picked up his paycheck from Vinton Roofing
  • Got a ride with a co-worker and the co-worker’s family member
  • Cashed his check at Kroger in Vinton at 3:19 p.m.
  • Got dropped off in the area of Chaps Tavern around 3:30 p.m.
  • Made a call at 4:12 p.m.
  • Made another call at 4:14 p.m.
  • Got a call from a woman he was supposed to meet with at 4:22 p.m.
  • Called the woman he was supposed to meet with at 4:25 p.m., describing his location as the intersection of Garden City Boulevard and Riverland

Special Agent Douglas Hubert from Virginia State Police works with a team of investigators on Christopher’s case. They spend dozens of hours a week working to get answers for the Douthat family.

According to Hubert, they have persons of interest, a probable motive, and what he calls “logistical conclusions.”

“The next step for us is where is Christopher at and locate Christopher. It’s broad and it’s an open-ended thing and it sounds like a simple task, but to get down to the location and to get the assistance we need to get to these places legally, and to be able to search and look these places is where we’ve had some obstacles,” said Hubert.

Hubert and Christopher’s brother, Michael Douthat, say it’s up to the community members who know but aren’t saying what happened to Christopher, to come forward.

“What if it was your family that was suffering? Would you want that for your family?” asked Michael.

Michael has a message for the person responsible for making his brother disappear.

“You’re a scumbag and we’re going to bring you to justice. You can count on that,” said Michael.

WFXR News’ Kathlynn Stone was told that Christopher’s investigation is in a bit of a holding pattern. Investigators and the Douthat family are waiting for legal proceedings to play out in Franklin County. Kathlynn reached out to Commonwealth’s Attorney A.J. Dudley to confirm this information. He did not respond.

If you have any information about Christopher’s disappearance, you are asked to call Special Agent Douglas Hubert with Virginia State Police at 540-375-9589.

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