Family of missing Raleigh man plan to hire private investigator

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- More than a month after Martin Bankhead went missing, his family says they are raising money to hire a private investigator to find him.

Raleigh Police said Martin's wife last saw him on June 10 in their Brier Creek neighborhood before he went missing.

"Somebody has to know. Somebody has to know what happened to Martin," she said.

Sarah Triplett and her husband Anthony spoke exclusively with ABC 11 for the first time about the disappearance of their brother Martin.

The 61-year-old retired husband from Raleigh has been missing for nearly six weeks.

"I can't sleep. I can't eat. It's too hard to explain. No one will everyone know what it feels like," said Sarah.

Triplett, who lives in Wisconsin, said she spoke with her brother over the phone just hours before he disappeared.

"We just talked and we laughed," she said.

Two-hundred miles away in Catawba, South Carolina, Bankhead's car was found on train tracks with the driver's side door open.

Authorities searched the area, local hotels, and hospitals with no luck.

On Tuesday, the family announced they set up a GoFundMe page for money to hire a private investigator and offer a reward for tips.

ABC11 asked the family if they believe Bankhead has been harmed.

"That's the last thing I'm thinking of that he's harmed. We're trusting God and we believe God that he will continue to put his loving arms and protection around Martin and keep him safe and bring him back to us," said Sarah.

Until that happens, they reflect on happy moments such as the family's guest appearance on The Family Feud with Bankhead answering a question that sparked a viral singalong.

"That shows Martin's personality with everyone he met. We need for him to come home," she said.

Bankhead doesn't have any children, but his family said he has been a mentor to many, even paying for college for some relatives.

Bankhead is six feet, two inches tall and weighs 180 pounds.

He was last seen wearing a purple polo shirt and light khakis with brown shoes. He also wears glasses.

If you have information, you are asked to call 911.

If you would like to support the family on the GoFundMe page Click here.