Family concerned about missing Lawton man

Gary Helton
Gary Helton

LAWTON-- The brother of former state Senator Sam Helton is missing. No one has seen or heard from 45-year-old Gary Helton in more than two days and his family is desperate for answers. Helton, a Goodyear line manager, disappeared on his way to work Friday evening. His partner called Helton's wife an hour later saying he never got there. Police say Gary pulled $200 out of an ATM and that's the last evidence of any activity from him. Family members say that's strange and think someone may have been forcing him to take out that money.

Sam Helton says, "It's totally out of character for him to not get ahold of his family, his children."

Gary has worked at Goodyear for 15 years and rarely takes a day off -- even when he's sick. When he didn't check in at the gate Friday night -- his family says they knew something was wrong. His co-worker Bill Hogan says, "He's normally not one that's late to work, and if he is going to be late to work or if something has happened, he'll generally call me and let me know and I had no response from him that he wasn't going to be there."

Family members say there's nothing missing from the house to show Helton meant to leave. With a diagnosis of sleep apnea -- he needs his breathing machine to sleep, and it's still at home by his bed. "He didn't take any clothes, he didn't take his medications that he has to take everyday, he didn't take his checkbook, it's all here," said Sam Helton.

But we do know he has that $200. "That is very unusual for him. He is not a big spender, he is very tight with his money, he's very cautious with his bills, he pays them all on time. And for him to surprisingly go take out 200 dollars is out of character," said Sam Helton.

So they think something far worse may have happened between his house and that ATM.

"We fear the possibility that he was forced to withdraw that money. Somebody might have seen him and there could be some indication that he was forced to make the withdrawl."

The family says if something upset him and he just had to get out of the house for a while, he would have at least called into work.

Gary Helton was last seen wearing a black short-sleeved button-down shirt, blue jeans and tan steel-toed boots. He was driving a white Chrysler Voyager with Oklahoma tags 987-CJP. If you have seen Helton or his car, call Lawton Police at (580) 581-3270.