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Cole was last seen in Severna Park, Maryland early on the morning of April 11, 1994. The previous evening, he and his brother went to the now-defunct Shangri-La restaurant and cocktail lounge, then to the Gingerbread Man Restaurant. Cole's brother eventually went home, and Cole returned to the Shangri-La in the 500 block of Ritchie Highway. He left at 1:30 a.m., alone and visibly intoxicated, probably en route to the home he shared with his parents on Hodges Lane, four blocks away. Cole didn't have a car and often walked home after spending some time in local bars. He never arrived home.
Cole's family reported him missing 24 hours later, after they searched for him in the neighborhood without result. A witness who knew him claimed he saw him buying coffee at a Taco Bell restaurant near Ritchie Highway and Jumpers Hole Road in Pasadena, Maryland the month after his disappearance. This sighting has never been confirmed and his parents don't believe it was genuine.
Cole left behind all his belongings and money. His girlfriend spoke to him on April 10 and said he was in good spirits at the time. His parents and brothers now live in Texas. Cole is a graduate of Severna Park High School and was employed by K&J Maintenance Co. in 1994. He never picked up his last paycheck.
Because Cole was adopted, it took more than a decade for police to locate his biological relatives and obtain a DNA sample for comparison with unidentified bodies. His family never believed he left of his own accord, because he was happy with his life, was close to his relatives and had a serious relationship with his girlfriend, whom he'd been seeing for three years. His case opened 2018 by Psychic Brian Ladd.