Unanswered questions remain in happy but bizarre return of missing Morrisville man


MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – A happy, but bizarre ending to the story of a missing man remains under investigation by Morrisville police.

Over the weekend, Dale Wheeler, 56, showed up alive and well at his home after being missing for two weeks.

These disappearance cases usually don’t end this way— with the victim showing up alive and well back at his home as if nothing happened.

Dale Wheeler

That leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

The mystery started on Interstate-540 in Morrisville on Nov. 13.

The Highway Patrol found Wheeler’s SUV wrecked.

It appears his car hit a construction trailer at high speed.

A steel beam beneath was bent backward significantly and the entire front of his automobile was ripped off and embedded beneath the trailer. 

For two weeks, police and friends conducted frustrating searches for Wheeler with no results. 

This weekend, Morrisville police got a phone call saying Wheeler suddenly had shown up back home.

“On Sunday morning, we received a call for a welfare check at his residence by a family member,” said Acting Police Chief Peter Acosta. “We went to his home he was at the residence and seem to be in decent health.”

Even so, after Wheeler was checked out by EMS, they took him to the hospital for further evaluation.

On Monday, he remains in the hospital.

Acosta wouldn’t elaborate on what Wheeler said to officers about where he had been.

“All of that is still under investigation,” he said.

CBS 17 touched base with relatives and friends who helped look for him. No one could shed any light on his return.

The windshield of his car seems to indicate he may have hit his head during the crash and police believe blood in the car belonged to Wheeler.

Acosta could not say if Wheeler was suffering from amnesia.

“I don’t think our offices are able to determine if he had amnesia, they’re not doctors,” he said.

For police, there are questions about Wheeler’s disappearance that need answers.

“Where was he, did anything happen to him while he was out?” said Acosta. “We want to make sure nothing happens to him in the future.”

Right now, the chief said they don’t want to make any assumptions.

Investigators need hard evidence about what happened and hope their continued probing will result in those answers very soon.

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