The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Cold Case Unit is seeking the community’s help to solve a 27-year-old missing person case.
Scott Paul Hayes was last seen by a roommate on January 8, 1996. Hayes, who was 19 at the time, told his roommate he was leaving Humboldt County and traveling to Southern California to visit his girlfriend. Hayes reportedly loaded all of his personal property into his maroon Chevrolet Sonoma pickup truck and left.
The following day, January 9, Hayes’ truck was found parked on the edge of the northbound lane of U.S. Highway 101 near Redcrest. His vehicle was locked, and his belongings were still inside. Later investigations indicated that the truck was out of fuel. No signs of foul play were found at the scene.
During their investigation, detectives located a witness who reportedly saw a man matching the description of Hayes in Redcrest during the early morning hours of January 9. The man reportedly told the witness that he had run out of gas. The witness gave the man a ride, however, the man reportedly began acting strangely and the witness dropped him off under the Stafford overpass out of fear for their safety. The witness reportedly continued on and retrieved fuel for the man, however, upon returning approximately 10 minutes later to the Stafford location, the man was gone.
An additional witness claimed to have seen Hayes at a motel in Rio Dell. Again, the man was reported to be acting strangely and he was not given a room. The man was reportedly last seen walking northbound on Wildwood Avenue.
Hayes has not been seen or heard from since January 9, 1996, and all leads received by the Sheriff’s Office thus far have been exhausted.
Scott Hayes was described as a white male adult, approximately 6 feet 1 inch tall, 150 pounds, with blonde hair and hazel eyes.
The Sheriff’s Office needs your help to bring closure to Mr. Hayes’ family. Anyone with information regarding Hayes’ whereabouts or who may have seen Hayes that day in 1996 are urged to contact HCSO Investigator Mike Fridley at 707-441-3024 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip Line at 707-268-2539.
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Scott Paul Hayes