Missing man’s family seeking public help

Published 3:58 pm Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Family members of a missing Alabaster veteran are seeking the public’s help in locating their loved one.

Howard Stanford, a 38-year-old Iraq veteran, has been missing from his Alabaster home since Sept. 1. Stanford’s friends, family members and local and state law enforcement officials have been searching in and around Oak Mountain State Park since the man’s vehicle was found abandoned near the park.

“I just got done talking with the police, and they said they still don’t have any leads,” Mandy Stanford, Howard Stanford’s wife, said Tuesday afternoon. “Every day on my lunch break, I have been going out and putting up fliers everywhere I can.

“He has to show up somewhere. He always does,” Mandy Stanford added.

A Sept. 5 search through Oak Mountain State Park produced no sign of Howard Stanford, his wife explained. During the search, Howard Stanford’s family joined about 30 local law enforcement officials, Oak Mountain State Park Rangers and area citizens as they combed through the more than 9,000-acre, heavily wooded park.

“He has gone missing before, but the longest he has ever been away was eight days,” Mandy Stanford said. “He doesn’t have any cash, and he hasn’t been using his debit card, so he has to surface sometime.

“He has two children at home, and we all just want him back,” she added.

The Stanfords are urging the public to remain watchful for a white male who is about 5-feet-8-inches tall, about 140 pounds and who has blue eyes, a military haircut and likely a beard.

“I would love to set up another search party, but I honestly don’t even know where to look right now,” Mandy Stanford said quietly. “We are going to keep putting up fliers and just hope that someone sees him and recognizes him.

“Any lead we could get would be wonderful,” she added.