Liberty man’s crashed car found, but no sign of him

A search is underway for Liberty man, Christopher Bartell, after his crashed car was found on SH 105 east of West Hardin in Hardin County.

The family of a missing Liberty County man is pleading for help from the community after his crashed car was found Friday night on a lonely stretch of SH 105 between West Hardin and Sour Lake in Hardin County.

Christopher Bartell, 40, left his home in Liberty around 5:30 p.m. Friday and told family members he would “be right back,” according to a family friend, Cassi Albro. When he didn’t return home as expected, they began to look for him and found his vehicle wrecked in a ditch along SH 105.

Family members were told by police that blood was found in the vehicle, along with Bartell’s phone.

“We are really not sure what happened. Police are investigating it now. There is no body and no trace of him, so we are out here looking for him,” Albro said.

Albro said the windows in the vehicle were not broken, so they have no reason to believe that someone accosted him on the roadway. For now, it appears he may have become disoriented after the crash and walked away.

“This is kind of a dangerous road,” she said.

Bartell is a student at Lamar University, according to his sister, Brandi Maughn. He hopes to become a counselor to work with people with chemical dependency issues. He lives in Liberty with his grandmother and daughter.

Bartell is described as a white male, 5-foot 11 inches tall, weighing 200 pounds, with dark hair and salt-and-pepper facial hair. He has tattoos on his forearms that honor his children – Ariana and Adarius. He has another tattoo on his back that says “Wheatbread,” a reference to his nickname.

He was driving an older model black Nissan Altima with dark-tinted windows.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office at 409-246-5100 or his sister, Brandi, at 936-346-1982.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.


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