Liberty man missing since Friday night
UPDATE: Christopher Bartell, 40, of Liberty was found shortly before 9 pm Sunday night in an area off of HWY 105. The local man had been missing for more than 48 hours after wrecking his car just east of West Hardin High School in Hardin County. More details to follow.
A search for Christopher Bartell, a local man from Liberty is underway off HWY 105 on the eastside of Hardin County, just past West Hardin High School. Bartell has been missing since his black late model Nissan Altima sedan was found in a westbound ditch on that stretch of road around 8 pm Friday night by troopers from the Texas Highway Patrol.
The car apparently crossed over the eastbound side and into the grass, before returning across the highway where it came to a stop in the ditch along the westbound side of the road.
The family was notified around 9:45 pm Friday evening by the Liberty Police Department and they have been scrambling for details on his whereabouts since that time.
According to family attorney Michelle Mangum-Merendino, the vehicle was left vacated, with his personal belongings in the car including his phone, and there was blood on the driver's side of the vehicle, but he continues to be unlocated.
Bartell was last heard from in the Liberty area when his phone pinged around 6:23 pm. Before that he was at home and told his grandmother, Jenny Lee Haney that he would be right back around 5:30 in the evening, prior to that he had picked his daughter up from Liberty High School around 3:45 pm.
As of Sunday morning, family and friends are searching the wooded area around the wreck scene, just past the WHHS. They have been in contact with Texas EquuSearch about that group assisting with the search and The Vindicator has spoken with that group and will have more information as it is available.. The family is asking that anyone who can help please join them as they look to find Bartell.
Bartell is a white male, 5-foot 11 inches tall, weighing approximately 200 pounds, with dark hair and salt-and-pepper facial hair. He has tattoos on his forearms bearing the names of his daughter and son – Ariana and Adarius. He also has a tattoo on his back that has a nickname of his, “Wheatbread.”
Bartell lives in Liberty with his Grandmother and Daughter. He is a graduate of McLennan Community College in Waco, TX, with an associate degree in Substance Abuse Counseling, and was currently working on his Bachelor at Lamar University where he was recently named to the Dean's List.
“We are just still seeking information on his whereabouts,” Mangum-Merendino concluded.
Anyone with information on Bartell is encouraged to contact Sgt. David Nunn at the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department at 409-246-5100 or call Texas EquuSearch at (281) 309-9500.