1,000 acres searched,still no sign of man missing for more than 2 weeks

Marlo Pronovost
Thursday, May 17, 2018

Map provided by the Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office

Search and Rescue crews have covered the areas shown above during the more than 2 weeks Paul Batson has been missing.

Approximately 1,000 acres have now been searched in the effort to find a missing Illinois man whose car was found abandoned in Reed Point more than two weeks ago under what police continue to call suspicious circumstances.

Search efforts resumed Sunday, May 13, for 45-year-old Paul Batson. Stillwater County Search and Rescue (SAR) has covered approximately 1,000 acres in the Reed Point area since April 30.

K-9 teams from Absaroka Search Dogs and Western Montana Search Dogs have been assisting in the search and on Monday, May 14, Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office personnel flew the search area by plane, said Sheriff’s Sgt. Randy Smith.

“These two searches did not yield any clues as to Mr. Batson’s whereabouts,” said Smith.

Batson was last heard from by his girlfriend on April 29 when he was in Bozeman checking on a possible job transfer with the United States Postal Service. There has been no trace of him since that time, other than the discovery of his 2016 Dodge Charger in the middle of Reed Point. Inside what was described as an “extremely clean” vehicle was his travel bag. Gone were his cell phone and wallet.

The disappearance has been deemed suspicious because it is highly out of character for Bat-son to not be in contact with his family. He has reportedly never disappeared before.

Batson is described as being 6 foot 2 inches tall, 185 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing jeans and a dark button-up shirt.

Anyone with information about Batson is encouraged to contact the Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office at (406) 322-5326.