Chapel Hill man missing

CHAPEL HILL Police say drugs may be behind Elias Sorokin's mysterious disappearance - but his friends and family are only focused on finding him.

"He was like a brother to me," said Jonathan Baxter.

Baxter now spends his time online - looking for any information on the missing 29-year-old.

Sorokin left for California a year ago. Last week, he vanished.

"He went to northern California, San Francisco, Santa Cruz area, Oakland, and he texted some people, text messaged some people to say that he was on his way back. He had a very important photo shoot as part of his business. They said that he always made those and when he didn't show up for that, people began to get concerned," said Baxter.

From North Carolina to California - friends have started a Faceook page dedicated to finding him. Baxter says he and Sorokin's family got some disturbing information.

"Elias' credit cards have been attempted to be used fraudulently and then someone tried to cash a check for a very large amount from his checking account," said Baxter.

Santa Cruz police say family members told them Sorokin was trafficking marijuana - according to a published report. It also states he had a medical marijuana card.

"I think some of the family members shared with them that they had heard a rumor that that might be there but that is not something that they think is playing a part in this. It's certainly there but there are so many options that are there, and it's understandable that people would pick up on that and would want to know," said Baxter.

The focus for those who love Sorokin is now his safe return.

"You know, you want so much to feel like a presence, a connection to someone. But you just don't know," said Baxter.

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