CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The search is growing for a local man who's been missing for more than a month.
No one has seen or heard from Bradley Brooks since Aug. 18 when he reportedly went fishing near Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. Now, an organization dedicated to finding missing people is involved.
Texas EquuSearch was called in by the Corpus Christi Police Department to assist with the investigation. Brooks' family had also sought out help from the non-profit organization, after weeks of searching on their own. Wednesday was the first day that the organization was in town to look for Brooks.
Relatives say Brooks had just moved to Corpus Christi to live with his girlfriend two months before he disappeared, and had just brought his daughter to town to live with him the day before.
"She called us the next day after and said that, 'Dad didn't come home,'" said Dennis Winegarner, Brooks' stepfather. "And that's when pretty much our lives changed."
Brooks' mother, Karen Winegarner, said, "He just wouldn't leave his daughter like that. there's no way. and the other thing is he always stays in contact with me. Always."
One of the few traces of Brooks since his disappearance was his car that was found days later at the end of Stingray Road, an area described as a popular fishing spot. That's where Texas EquuSearch centered its effort today with close to twenty team members searching within a two-mile radius.
"I had a boat in the water doing shorelines that i could do. We did a lot of stuff on ATVs, foot searching," Tim Miller, founder and director of Texas EquuSearch.
According to Miller, there's no evidence of foul play or that Brooks left the area on his own. His team didn't find anything today but Miller says their work is not done, saying that his organization is committed to finding Bradley Brooks and bringing some sort of peace to his family.
"If we can just be a little part of bringing some closure to the family, that's what we're here for," Miller said.
Meanwhile, Brooks' mother is pleading to the public for help to find her son.
"If anybody knows anything about my son, just please come forward," Karen Winegarner told KRIS 6 News, fighting back tears. "We need closure. That's all I ask."
Miller said that the Texas EquuSearch team planned to meet with CCPD detectives on Thursday to talk about plans for expanding their search.
Anyone with leads about Bradley Brooks' disappearance can call Crime Stoppers at 888-TIPS. You can find updates on this Facebook page that Brooks' family created.