Missing: Orange County man exits vehicle and never returns

Courtesy photo: Ricky Smith

A man who had been ringing in the New Year with friends at a bar in Beaumont reportedly went missing on the ride home, and the Orange County Sheriff's Office is requesting the public assistance in locating the Buna resident, according to OCSO Criminal Investigator Janois Strause Grizzaffi. 

Grizzaffi reports 44-year-old Ricky D. Smith was last seen walking in the area of Highway 1136 and the Interstate 10 North service road late Saturday night, Dec. 31, 2016, or early Sunday morning, Jan. 1. Smith had been celebrating with friends at the Sawdust Saloon and had gotten a ride home with one of them. As Smith was riding home with his friend, he asked the friend to stop the vehicle, the witness told deputies. The friend told investigators that Smith then exited the vehicle and began walking toward the northwest corner of the intersection. He has not been seen since.  

Smith is 5-foot-six, weighs 150 pounds and was last seen wearing blue jeans, a long-sleeve pullover shirt, brown cowboy boots and a brown cowboy hat. No foul play is suspected at this time.

Strause asks that anyone who has seen Smith or has any information regarding his whereabouts call the Orange County Sheriff's Office at (409) 883-2612, or contact Crime Stoppers at (409) 833-TIPS (8477) or 833tips.com. All contact with Crime Stoppers is anonymous.