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Okay, this isn't about us, put I'm asking for your help for this family.

Below is an article outlining the abduction of Jim Cockman. We need help getting this in the national press. It has been difficult but Fox News is carrying it this evening and Today on NBC is doing a story on Sunday. Any help on the internet would be more than greatly appreciated.

For picture of James Cockman please use the link below: http://greenvilleonline.com/news/2004/09/1...04091539270.htm

Police fear businessman may have come to harm

Posted Thursday, September 16, 2004 - 9:14 pm

By E. Richard Walton

STAFF WRITER

rwalton@greenvillenews.com

James Cockman, the Greenville businessman who disappeared this week, "may have come to some harm," according to a Greenville County Sheriff's Office spokesman.

"We've investigating this as a missing persons case," said Sgt. Shea Smith. But "based on the circumstances and evidence coming forward, we think there's a strong possibility he may have come to some harm. He could have come to foul play."

Smith said investigators had a number of tips in the case, but declined to elaborate.

The FBI also has joined the investigation of what happened to the 71-year-old Cockman, the former Greenville County Chamber of Commerce president who was last seen buying a cup of coffee at a service station at the intersection of State 11 and 14.

Cockman had gone there Tuesday morning to complete the sale of a Suburban he had parked in an empty lot across the road.

The Sheriff's Office has set up a 24-hour command center at the intersection to get tips from people who may have seen something related to the case.

Tom O'Neill, a FBI spokesman in Columbia, said federal agents are assisting Greenville County in the search for Cockman.

Smith said the FBI was asked to help with the search roughly 36 hours after Cockman vanished.

"They asked for our assistance," O'Neill said. He would not discuss the FBI's role. "We don't discuss specific steps that we're taking," he said. "We will follow logical leads we receive."

Deputies have increased patrols in the area, where Cockman was last seen, a spot near the North Carolina border.

Smith said anyone with information about the case can call investigators at 23-CRIME or 467-5240.

Deputies were unable to use their helicopter Thursday to search the woods in the area because of the bad weather, Smith said.

Cockman was scheduled to meet a potential buyer of a 1996 GMC Suburban at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday. The buyer gave a deposit of $100 and was expected to pay another $8,400 to purchase the vehicle. Cockman was driving a 1999 Jaguar and stopped at a nearby Spinx Station for a cup of coffee shortly beforehand, officials said.

His wife, Cathy Cockman, told authorities she suspected something was amiss because she said her husband always showed up for appointments. Officials at Tryon Federal Bank contacted her after Cockman failed to appear.

His wife went to the meeting spot after Cockman failed to show for the bank appointments and found Cockman's Jaguar with the door ajar.

A prayer vigil for him will be held starting at 11 a.m. today at First Baptist Church, at Cleveland and Faris streets, a church spokesman said. All faiths are welcome.

? Staff Writer E. Richard Walton can be reached at 298-4317.

Missing man's family and friends post reward for information

Posted Friday, September 17, 2004 - 3:42 pm

By John Boyanoski

STAFF WRITER

jboyan@greenvillenews.com

Friends and family of a missing Greenville County businessman are offering a $50,000 reward for any information on his whereabouts that can lead to his finding.

Authorities also released more information Friday about a couple seen with James D. Cockman at the intersection of Highway 11 and 14 the night before he vanished.

Sheriff Steve Loftis described a white male, 6-feet, 250 pounds with shoulder length brown hair, tattooed legs, and a full beard; and a white female, about 5 foot 7, petite with reddish/brown hair in a pony tail, as persons of interest. The two were seen in a older model white sedan that had two children in it around 6 p.m. Monday, Loftis said.

Cockman was last seen leaving a Spinx station at the intersection of Highways 11 and 14 Tuesday morning, said Loftis said. Cockman was planning to sell a Chevrolet Suburban across the street to an unidentified couple.

Cockman's wife found his 1999 green Jaguar at the scene a few hours later, but Cockman and the Suburban were missing, Loftis

Authorities believe Cockman, who was the former head of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, may have been abducted, Loftis said. He declined to discuss motives or scenarios Friday.

But he did say no one has demanded ransom. "We are chasing every lead that comes in," Loftis said.

Anyone with information should call a special tip line: 1-866-839-6241. The FBI is monitoring that line. The Sheriffs Office also has a 24-hour mobile command center at the intersection in Landrum in case people have information, Loftis said.

About 12 people have brought information there so far, Loftis said.

Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office is also assisting by chasing down leads in that county. The agency lent its helicopter to help in the search Wednesday. However, bad weather the last few days has grounded an aerial search.

Investigators are reviewing video tapes from the Spinx station, but Loftis would not say what if any information they revealed.

He also wouldn't say if call records from Cockman's home phone number have shown anything. Cockman's wife, Cathy, told police a man called the home around 6 p.m. Monday to ask about the GMC Suburban that was parked in a vacant lot about five minutes from their house.

Loftis did not say why they were selling the SUV.

James Cockman drove to the site alone where he met with the couple Loftis described. They paid him $100 cash Monday and said they would complete the deal Tuesday morning.

Cockman left his home at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday wearing a white Polo shirt with H. L. Hunley on it and dark slacks. Spinx employees said he bought a coffee there, but they did not pay attention to what he did next.

After a bank called Cathy Cockman twice to say he had missed appointments, she drove to the scene. She found the Jaguar's door open, and the Suburban's bill of sale and title inside. She then called the Sheriff's Office to report the disappearance.

Loftis said no usable evidence has been found on the Jaguar.

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Businessman's Disappearance Now Considered Possible Abduction

$50,000 Reward Now Offered For Information

GOWENSVILLE, S.C. -- Investigators are releasing new information about the disappearance of a retired Greenville County businessman, an incident detective are now calling a possible abduction.

James David Cockman, 71, was reported missing Tuesday afternoon after he went to meet a person about selling a silver 1996 Chevy Suburban.

The incident report states that after a phone call, Cockman met with someone at the vehicle, parking in a vacant lot at the interchange of Highway 11 and Highway 14, shortly after 6 p.m. Monday. The man gave Cockman a $100 down payment, and arranged to meet him again at 10 a.m. Tuesday to pay a balance of $8,400 for the vehicle, according to the report.

Cockman left his home at about 9:45 a.m. Tuesday for the meeting, and was seen purchasing a cup of coffee a short time later at a convenience store near where the Suburban was parked. Deputies were notified when Cockman failed to show up for another appointment later that day.

Investigators released a description of the two people they believe Cockman was to meet, saying they would like to speak with these people about what they may have seen:

The man was a white male, six feet tall, weighing 250 pounds, with shoulder-length brown hair, tattoos on both legs and a full beard.

The woman was a white female, five feet, seven inches tall with a slender build, with reddish-brown hair in a ponytail.

The two were seen in a white sedan with two or more children inside.

Cockman was last seen wearing dark pants and a white polo shirt with H.L Hunley on it.

The green 1999 Jaguar deputies believe Cockman drove to the meeting was found in a parking lot at Highway 11 and Highway 14, but the Suburban being sold was missing. The Suburban has South Carolina plates, number FM79075.

At that crossroads, the sheriff's office is setting up a 24-hour command post and asking people to drop by with any information they may have on the disappearance. Anyone with information can call toll-free at (866) 839-6241.

Cockman is a former chairman of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, a former Sara Lee executive and co-owner of Brains On Fire in Greenville.

Friends and family have put together a $50,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest and conviction in this case.

Deputies said that evidence found in and near Cockman's car indicates that he probably did not intend to leave the car behind, and as a result, they are beginning to suspect foul play in his disappearance.

Investigators are reviewing videotape from a surveillance camera that overlooks the parking lost where Cockman's car was found.

"We're hoping that (the tape) is going to be instrumental in helping us with this case," said Michael Hildebrand, of the Greenville County Sheriffs Office.

Officials said Cockman had no known medical conditions that might account for his disappearance.

Friends and business associates passed out fliers in Gowensville Wednesday afternoon, hoping someone who regularly drives through the area may have seen something.

"Nobody has contacted the sheriff's office or members of his family to make any kinds of demands," Hildebrand said.

If anyone has any information, call the Greenville County Sheriff's Office at (864) 467-5157.

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The police investigation into the disappearance of Jim Cockman is continuing with the announcement by the Greenville County Sheriff's Office of a $50,000 reward for information about two "persons of interest" being sought. The individuals are described as a white male, about six feet tall, with shoulder-length brown hair, tattooed legs, and a full beard; and a white female, about 5'7", petite, with reddish brown hair in a ponytail. The two were last seen in an older model white sedan containing two children at about 6pm on Monday evening, Sept. 13th. A special tip line is available at 1-866-839-6241 for those who believe they have information about these individuals.

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