Cordell family searches for missing man


CORDELL — Anthony Holland’s friends and relatives have followed up on dozens of leads every weekend for the past five months, searching for the missing husband and father from Cordell.

With the Christmas season approaching, the Holland family is asking friends and business acquaintances who send out Christmas letters to include information about the missing 51-year-old businessman.

The married father of two sons visited a gun show in Elk City on June 21. He returned home and left again about 5:30 p.m. without his wallet or checkbook, said Teresa Goughan, Holland’s cousin.

His pickup was found the next day in a wooded area of his 80-acre farm in southeast Washita County. The doors were closed and the keys were inside. Holland’s cell phone was found three days later some distance from the truck, she said.

The area is described as thick with trees, caves, caverns and sinkholes.

The family has searched the area repeatedly, looking for the tiniest of clues. They also searched adjacent properties but suspended the search when deer season opened, Goughan said.

Texas EquuSearch, a search and rescue organization, sent a team to search for Holland in August.

Holland’s disappearance remains under investigation with the Washita County Sheriff’s Department and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, said Larry Burrows, Washita County sheriff.

"We took a tracking dog to the scene and didn’t get a hit on anything,” Burrows said.

It is difficult to determine if a second vehicle was in the area due to the tall grass, he said.

"There was some grass that was pushed down, but we don’t know if that was from his (Holland’s) truck or another vehicle,” Burrows said.

Law enforcement officers have searched the area on foot, horseback, four-wheelers and with a team of cadaver dogs, he said.

"I really don’t think there is foul play,” Burrows said. "But we are not going to rule that out. It looks like he just left on his own.”

The family has contacted mental health and homeless shelters in hopes of locating Holland, but nothing has turned up, the sheriff’s department said.

There has been no financial movement or clues to indicate any activity, Burrows said.

Holland owns several rental properties, three farms, a Snap-On tools dealership and Kingsize storage and was described by Goughan as a good businessman who works hard and has no enemies.

"He was the most generous person,” Goughan said. "He would make a note of what people like and when he saw it he would purchase it and give to them. He wouldn’t wait for Christmas.”

One time he bought a child’s rocking chair for a customer’s little girl. Another time Goughan’s mother mentioned she didn’t have a penny representing the year she was born.

"He (Holland) went to a coin shop and got her several coins dated the year she was born,” Goughan said.

"I cannot find one person that wasn’t extremely fond of Anthony,” said Tami Conn, a private investigator who is acting as a consultant with the family.

I really don’t think there is foul play. But we are not going to rule that out. It looks like (Anthony Holland) just left on his own.”

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