Sheriff’s office searching for man missing under suspicious circumstances

Search and rescue crews are scheduled to arrive in the Reed Point area on Friday
Marlo Pronovost
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Authorities are searching for an Illinois man who went missing under suspicious circumstances and whose car was found abandoned in the Reed Point area.

Paul P. Batson’s 2016 Dodge Charger was found unoccupied in the Reed Point area on Monday, April 30. When a deputy ran the license plate, it was discovered Batson had been reported as a missing person by the Bozeman Police Department, said Stillwater County Sheriff’s Sgt. Randy Smith.

Batson, 45, works for the United States Postal Service in Batavia, Ill., and was driving to Butte and Bozeman to check out possible transfer cities, said Smith. Batson spoke to his girlfriend on Sunday, April 29, while he was in Bozeman. Since that time, he has had no contact with her or any of his family, which Smith said is highly uncharacteristic of Batson.

“This is a very, very odd case,” said Smith.

Smith would not say if Batson’s car was locked, but it has been impounded. Efforts to locate Batson through his cell phone have been unsuccessful, leading investigators to believe the phone is either turned off or out of battery. 

Search and rescue crews are scheduled to arrive in the Reed Point area on Friday. 

The Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office is working in conjunction with the Bozeman Police Department on the case.

Batson is described as being 6-foot-2-inches tall with brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information is asked to call Smith at 322-5326 or Detective Sgt. Joe Swanson at the Bozeman Police Department at 582-2300.