ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – 32-year-old Clay Rodman went missing after being released from police custody on May 1st, 2013. Rodman was in Abilene recovering from alcoholism at a local halfway house, but was arrested for public intoxication just a few months after checking out.
“We had a phone call on May the first, and that’s the last time I ever heard his voice,” Clay’s father, Allin Rodman, told KTAB/KRBC.
Private Investigator Jeff Wilkins has been working on the case since 2015. He said he believes Clay was walking north on Butternut Street that day, when he fell in with a bad crowd.
“I just think something bad happened real quick,” Wilkins said in his expert opinion.
Rodman’s case stood out in Wilkins’ career as one of the few he has not been able to close.
“This case, it’s personal,” Wilkins said. “Me and Allin have become real good friends. It literally keeps me up at night.”
Following a lead from a credible tipster, the last large-scale search for Rodman took place in the 3900 block of Old Anson Road in April of 2017. Hours of Scouring the property yielded no results. Even five years later, Allin, still, has not given up hope of closing the book on his son’s disappearance.
“There’s never a day that goes by I hadn’t thought about Clay at least once, if not two or three times,” Allin said of his boy.
Though the search is no longer for Clay, but rather his remains, Allin and his family believe Clay, as they knew him, died years ago.
“Even if we never got the whole story blow-by-blow, you know what happened… Who did what,” Allin explained of his goals to close the case. “To me, that’s not as important, to be honest, as finding his body.”
Now, Allin said the only thing he wants to do is honor his son’s final wish. Clay once told his father he wants to have his remains scattered along a river in Colorado, where he was taught how to fish, as a little boy.
“His AA [Alcoholics Anonymous] sponsor had prompted him to have that discussion of, ‘if I die, what do I want to happen,'” Allin disclosed. “Clay and I talked about that around January Maybe December.”
However, with no new leads, the search continues. His family wants closure and an investigator driven towards justice.
“That’s what it’s done to me,” Wilkins said. “I mean, I would do anything to get this thing solved. And I have, I think. It’s– it’s been a nightmare.”
Wilkins encourages anyone with information related to Clay and his disappearance to call Professional Investigative Consultants at (325) 676-1999, or his direct line at (254) 246-3651.
Allin is still offering a cash reward for any tips that lead to locating his sons remains.