Local man’s loved ones desperate to find him after receiving suspicious ransom calls

State News

Randy Michaels was last seen around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 16, leaving a bar in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Wednesday afternoon on Youngstown’s south side, family and friends of a local man who has been missing for 10 days gathered to search the area where he was last seen.

The man these people were looking for is 33-year-old Randy Michaels.

For his mother, Lisa Michaels, just thought that her son might be dead brought her to tears.

“That’s my worst nightmare as his mother. I don’t want to find my son that way. I can’t bury my son,” she said.

Randy’s family and friends don’t have much information to go off of. They only know that he was last seen around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 16, leaving a bar along East Midlothian Boulevard.

“That was the last that I have seen him or anyone else has contacted or informed us of anyone seeing him,” said Amanda Garcia, one of Randy’s friends.

So on Wednesday, about 10 people gathered at Ipe Field on Midlothian Boulevard to search the area where he was last seen. They were there to both support Randy’s mother and to search the wooded area around the park, hoping to find some evidence of Randy’s disappearance.

A few of them hiked into the thick woods around the park where no one has passed through in a long time. They walked over downed limbs and created their own paths. Still, they found nothing.

“I mean, if we had to start looking for him, it would probably be around this area. His daughters’ mom lives around this area. He goes to her house to see his kids if he did,” said Christina Gonzalez, another one of Randy’s friends.

Randy lives in Campbell, and friends say that if he is around, someone would have seen him.

“Randy knows a lot of people and a lot of people know my son,” Lisa said.

“Everyone sees him. He literally walks everywhere,” Garcia said.

His mother says she last heard from him on Saturday, May 15, around 6:30 p.m. They would talk multiple times a day.

Also on Wednesday afternoon, Lisa received her 11th phone call of the day from a New Mexico number claiming they had her son and wanting $1,500 in ransom money. After asking to talk with Randy several times, they hung up. She believes it is a scam.

“I’m not putting the money in no account until I hear my son,” Lisa said on one of the phone calls.

Some of Randy’s friends said there have been all kinds of rumors of where he might be, but no one has provided any concrete evidence.

“It’s like he disappeared off the face of the earth,” Lisa said.

The Youngstown Police Department said a missing persons report was filed on May 22, but we were unable to get ahold of anyone about how the investigation is going.

The family is circulating pictures of Randy, hoping someone will notice him and contact them.

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