Ridge Cole: Body found in search for missing man who was in Texas for son’s liver transplant

Officials in Texas believe they have recovered the body of Oklahoma man Ridge Cole, who was missing since November 11

Ridge Cole: Body found in search for missing man who was in Texas for son’s liver transplant
Ridge Cole's body was pulled from Brays Bayou on November 15 (Texas EquuSearch/Facebook)
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HOUSTON, TEXAS: A body was discovered in the Brays Bayou river in Texas on Tuesday, November 15, during the search for an Oklahoma man who went missing while visiting the state for his son's liver transplant. Ridge Cole was last seen at a Ronald McDonald House in Houston, and a body believed to be his was pulled from the Brays Bayou, according to Houston police. 

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"HPD Dive Team members are on scene of a body observed in Brays Bayou in the 4500 block of Martin Luther King Blvd about 12:10 pm," Houston police tweeted. According to a search and rescue organization Texas EquuSearch, the body is thought to be of 28-year-old Ridge Cole. Cole was last seen on Friday night close to the 1900 block of Holcombe Boulevard in Houston, which is close to the river, according to the rescue agency.

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It has not been confirmed if the body is Cole’s, but Texas EquuSearch said the clothes on the body were similar to what Cole was wearing before he disappeared, as per ABC13.

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Cole and his family came to Houston two weeks ago in preparation for Cole's 13-month-old son's liver transplant. He was staying at the Ronald McDonald House Charities with his mother, wife, and son. According to Texas EquuSearch, he was last seen on November 11 in the 1900 block of Holcombe Boulevard in the Texas Medical Center.

Texas EquuSearch's founder, Tim Miller, claimed Cole went for a walk along Brays Bayou, where some of his items were discovered. "He somehow slipped into the bayou. It's a terrible vertical ledge, and we found personal effects on the bank where he had been sitting, and it really pointed to that he had entered the water," Texas EquuSearch's Mark Edwards said. The body was discovered 3.5 miles from where investigators think Cole fell.

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While the medical examiner's office has not identified the body as that of Cole's, EquuSearch said they are confident their search for the missing father has ended. Edwards said the search for Cole was "emotional" for both the family and rescuers. "Ridge's mom was so worried that she was gonna go home without her baby," the search coordinator explained, "and having a hand in making her not live that nightmare is what keeps every EquuSearch volunteer coming back."

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The family will now have to return home without Cole, but despite this, they still find gratitude in their hearts. "They sent me with a message to thank everybody, the media, Houston Police Department, and missing person's detectives. They thank Texas EquuSearch. Genuine, genuine thanks to the City of Houston and the Ronald McDonald House, they have been so hospitable," said Edwards.

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