Cleveland Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a 41-year-old missing Cleveland man who was last seen on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 2022.
Richard “Rick” Simpson’s last known location was the Burger King near the intersection of SH 105 and US 59 in Cleveland. His parked vehicle, with the keys still inside, reportedly was found in the Burger King parking lot.
“We found his car when we were out looking for him. We thought he had gone out with his friends. The Burger King employees told us that the car had been sitting there for a couple of days,” said his brother, Erik Simpson, of Cleveland.
According to Erik Simpson, Richard suffers from undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenia and the family has been working to get him connected to medical help.
“We have been trying to get him to see a psychiatrist. We had finally convinced him to do it, and we thought he had gone to town to fill out the paperwork,” said Erik. “He had not been eating and drinking because he thought everyone was trying to poison him, so he may have gone to Burger King to get something to eat. We think he may have gone back inside the restaurant and locked his keys inside the vehicle accidentally.”
Through Facebook, Erik Simpson has received tips from people who say they saw a man matching Richard’s description walking westbound on SH 105. As Richard lives with his brother in the Trails End subdivision a few miles west of Cleveland on SH 105, he may have been attempting to walk home.
Erik believes that his brother may have entered the woods near the San Jacinto River, and then disappeared, information he also received through tips.
“We went out there one day to look for him and couldn’t get very far. It’s been raining a lot since then. We are new to this, and no one has advised us what to do when someone is missing. We’ve contacted Texas EquuSearch and Cleveland Police Department for help,” he said.
In the days before his disappearance, Richard’s paranoia was escalating, said his brother. Besides believing that people were trying to poison him, he also reportedly had an irrational fear that his cell phone was being tracked.
“He got another phone from Verizon after he thought someone had put spyware on the first one, and then he said someone had done the same thing to the second phone. He also believed that the neighbors were out to get him. We got him a flip phone, but he didn’t have it for long, just a couple of weeks,” Richard said, adding that the flip phone was also left behind.
Erik does not believe that Richard was suicidal, but he is beginning to fear the worst as more time goes on.
“We have talked to all of his friends and they haven’t heard from him,” said Erik. “It’s not normal for him to be out of contact with any of us for this long.”
Richard “Rick” Simpson is described as being 5-foot, 8-inches tall, weighing 150 pounds, with salt and pepper hair, brown eyes and facial hair. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, black T-shirt and a black baseball cap.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Cleveland Police Department at 281-592-2622.
I am his best friend for 25 years and nobody reached out or said a word to me. Why has no one contacted me. My mom found this info yesterday and contacted me immediately. I have reached out to other long life friends of ours and they were not notified either!!
I will find my friend!!!