MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Morrisville police are searching for a man, more than a week after his wrecked SUV turned up with blood – but no driver – inside.
Family, friends, and co-workers started calling police last Tuesday – Nov. 16 – after not hearing from Dale Wheeler for several days.
Denise Spinelli, a friend, said Wheeler had not shown up to play tennis.
“That just set off alarm bells,” she said. “He is really structured.”
When Morrisville police began looking into the case, they learned the North Carolina State Highway Patrol had, in fact, found Wheeler’s SUV the morning of Saturday, Nov. 13. The SUV was wrecked with heavy front-end damage, after having crashed into a trailer, under an overpass off Church Road.
It’s not clear how long the SUV had been there, but police believe it was wrecked sometime between Friday evening and early Saturday morning.
Morrisville police Capt. Eric Preddy said there was a small amount of blood inside the crashed SUV.
“We feel pretty confident (Wheeler) sustained some type of injury,” Preddy said.
But there was no sign of Wheeler.
Preddy told CBS 17, that neighbors reported seeing Wheeler at his apartment the night before the wrecked SUV turned up, and everything seemed fine.
Friends said things inside his home seemed normal, too.
But police said they have no solid leads on what might have happened to him.
“We’re extremely concerned,” Preddy said. “I can tell you in 28 years in law enforcement, this is a different kind of case.”
Over the weekend, loved ones and community members took part in a search in Morrisville, looking for any clues related to his disappearance. They made no significant discoveries.
Spinelli said she – and Wheeler’s family members – are holding onto hope he will be found safe.
“We’re going to keep looking until we have uncovered every rock,” she said.
Morrisville police are asking anyone with information on Wheeler’s whereabouts or the crash to call detectives at (919) 463-1650.