Tucson's Most Wanted: disappearance of Shaun Michael Searle

Published: Jun. 18, 2013 at 8:32 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:21 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - It's been a year and two weeks since Shaun Michael Searle went missing.

It was June 5th, 2012 when the 28-year-old Searle stepped out of his mother's midtown home and continued to walk down East Elm street.

He hasn't been seen since.

By her own admission, Shaun Michael's mother knew her son had some real demons.

For years, he struggled with drugs and depression, Penny Searle says.

But on the afternoon of June 5th, 2012, Searle said something seemed very different.

"I've seen him paranoid before, but this time he was very terrified," she says, recalling that day one year ago.  "He said he had got involved with some people the night before, some very bad people. And they were going to kill him."

That night -- between 11 PM and midnight -- Shaun Michael walked away, never to be heard from again.

Due to his state of mind and frequent drug abuse, one of the theories is that he killed himself.

But just 15 minutes after Shaun Michael left, his mother says a stranger showed up looking for him.

She'd never seen this man before.

But says he was very interested in knowing the whereabouts of her son.

The next night the same man showed up again, never making any threats toward anyone but definitely making his presence known.

One year later, the missing man's mother has a more ominous feeling about what may have happened to her son.

"What do you think happened?" Tucson News Now asked Penny Searle.

"I don't know," she says, tears welling in her eyes.  "I think he may have been murdered."

Tucson Police have never been able to identify this mystery man or even confirm his existence.

"From an investigative standpoint, you normally have something to go on," says TPD Sgt. Chris Widmer.

But with this case they have nothing.

No leads, no tips, no persons of interest.

So then what happened to 28 year old Shaun Michael Searle?

"His mother saw him leave. He had no money, no credit cards, no cash, nothing," Widmer says.

Did this man have a self-imposed death wish?

Or was he running from someone trying to do harm to him?

"Please, there's somebody out there that has information that knows what happened to my son," Penny Searle says, shaking hear head.

"And I'm asking please come forward. My heart is so broken. My heart is so broken.  I want to know what happened to him."

If you have any information, call 911 or 88-CRIME, the Pima County Attorney's office.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now.  All rights reserved.