NORTH PLATTE, Neb. — A former North Platte man, 28, has not been seen since Monday morning and is considered officially missing.
Craig Baxter’s face has been filling Facebook feeds across the state and throughout the county. He also has been featured on news stations and in print media across Nebraska and on TV stations as far away as Tennessee.
Baxter, the son of Dr. Kim and Nancy Baxter, of North Platte, recently moved in with his sister and brother-in-law in Lincoln.
Baster had appointments Monday morning and early that afternoon and he was supposed to be in Omaha — but he never arrived.
His brother-in-law, Dave Meagher, said he and his wife last saw Baxter around 6:30 a.m. Monday, and they believe he left their home in the country club area of Lincoln around 7:15-7:30 a.m. At 7:40 a.m., Baxter's cell phone signal bounced off a tower near the campus of Nebraska Wesleyan University, but officials say those “pings” only show the general location.
Meagher said he believes Baxter was probably driving down 48th Street, a main street in Lincoln, near the campus. That was the last signal of him — there were no more pings, no phone calls and no confirmed sightings.
When he didn’t show up for his appointments, family members grew worried and filed a missing person report with the Lincoln Police Department. Meagher and other family members posted pleas on Facebook asking the community to keep watch.
A group called “Craig Baxter Missing ... URGENT PLEA FOR HELP” on Facebook had nearly 14,000 members by Wednesday evening. People planned prayer meetings and posted locations where they’d shared Craig Baxter’s photo, including Colorado, Iowa and Canada.
It’s possible that Baxter went to one of the many places to which he has connections: North Platte, where he grew up; O’Neil, where he just completed his optometry rotation last fall; Memphis, Tennessee, where he attended optometry school; Lincoln or Omaha.
“He does not have his wallet,” Meagher said. “We haven’t noticed any activity on his bank account and to our knowledge, he doesn’t have much, if any, cash.”
Baxter was last seen driving a dark blue 2005 BMW X3 SUV, license plate 15-B187.
Formal searches are not being conducted at this time because it’s unclear where officials should begin looking.
Baxter is 6 foot 1 and weighs about 180 pounds. He’s got dark brown hair and green eyes. If anyone has any information about Baxter's whereabouts or about his vehicle, they’re encouraged to contact the Lincoln Police Department at 402-441-6000 or lincoln Crime Stoppers at 402-475-3600. Local law enforcement agencies and the Nebraska State Patrol can also be contacted.