KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The family of a Kansas City man who's been missing for more than a month believe their loved one is dead.
Johnny Thompson was last seen leaving a friend’s house in Independence on July 5. The 46-year-old was driving his black Ford F-150.
"We’ve been doing a lot of footwork since day one,” said Ronnisha Gee, Thompson’s youngest sister. “Running from here to there. Any tip we were getting, I’d try to chase it down myself."
FOX4 first sat down with Thompson’s family on July 9, when his employer, Center for the Developmentally Disabled (CDD), organized a search party. Thompson worked with people with developmental disabilities for a decade. The CEO of CDD said Thompson was a model employee.
“In the beginning, we got, ‘Maybe he just took a break,’" said Rosemary Gee, Thompson’s mother. “[They said] ‘Maybe he just wanted to get away.’”
“But we already knew from jump [he would] never,” Ronnisha added.
Ronnisha and Rosemary said the last month and nine days have been unbearable because they no longer think Thompson is alive, but his body hasn’t been found.
“I texted him the other day and told him I was cooking, just not even thinking he’s not even here anymore,” Ronnisha said, fighting tears.
“Every day is like I’m in a fog,” his mother added.
Ronnie said days after her brother’s phone was found near the Central Avenue Viaduct Bridge -- and his employer organized a search party around the area -- investigators told her they had information leading them to believe Thompson was still near the Kansas River.
“[The detective] told me they did a water search on July 23,” Ronnisha said.
The search reportedly came up empty.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson with KCPD told FOX4 there was no new information in Thompson’s disappearance, and that it was still being investigated as missing person’s case.
“It’s like who is going to dig in and find my brother?” Ronnisha asked while crying. “What are y’all doing to find Johnny?"
The family can’t imagine what condition Thompson is in.
“The weather has been rainy. It’s been hot. You just don’t know. Nobody should have to go through that,” Ronnisha said.
Even more disheartening for them was seeing the amount of resources that went into searching for the missing Wisconsin brothers, a case that unfolded in the media for weeks.
“They had search parties, dogs out looking for these men -- immediately,” Ronnisha said. “It just breaks my heart that there are so many missing people here in the metro area, and they’re not getting the coverage they deserve until their body shows up. They’re people, too. They have families, too.”
The family wants answers, closure and, most importantly, peace -- for themselves and Thompson.
“We just want Johnny back home, so we can have some closure for this family, try to move on with our lives,” Ronnisha said.
Thompson’s sister and mother said he was a family man who stayed to himself.
Kansas City and Independence police are working together on this missing person’s case. If you know what happened to him, call either agency.