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Public's help sought in helping to locate man missing since August


The Howell County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public for help in locating a man missing since late August.

Ashton D. Rader, 27, was reportedly last seen in West Plains at that time. He has blonde hair, blue eyes, and is 5 feet, 11 inches tall, weighing 205 pounds.

He may be recognizable by tattoos on his legs and arms.

Anyone with information about Rader’s whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff’s office, 417-256-2544.


Rader’s disappearance is the latest of several in recent years. To date, authorities continue to search for 10 people missing from the West Plains area since 1995; of those, seven were reported missing in or after 2020.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol database of missing adults, those missing, with ages at the time of their disappearances, are Danny R. Roberts, 33, reported missing in 1995; Kermit Steven Collins, 58, and Robert L. Huddleson, 66, both reported missing in 2017; Garrett Lindle Tarlton, 18, Limon Landon Little, 49, and Ira Lee Briscoe, 25, all reported missing in 2020; Sandra Ann Bennett, 60, reported missing in 2021; and, from this year, Thomas Jay Acosta, 27, missing since May 9; Tommy Lee Wilson, 39, missing since June 11; and Rader.


In one of the most visible cases, Ira Lee Briscoe, was reported missing Dec. 17, 2020, and his case continues to be investigated by the Howell County Sheriff’s Office. Briscoe is described as a white man with brown hair and blue eyes, standing 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds. He was last seen Dec. 17, 2020, in West Plains.

His vehicle was recovered by authorities a month after his disappearance, found in South Fork. It provided no new leads, authorities said at the time.

Briscoe has a “LIVE STRONG” tattoo on his back, and tattoos of deer and turkey tracks.

His possible roommate, Little, was also reported missing around the same time as Briscoe’s disappearance. Little is described as a white man with brown hair and hazel eyes, weighing 253 pounds and standing 6 feet, 2 inches tall. He was last seen Dec. 15 in West Plains.


Robert Huddleson was reported missing by his brother John Huddleson, of St. James, in late July 2017 after he failed to show up to his father’s 90th birthday and family reunion the weekend prior, despite expressing excitement for the occasion, the Quill reported at the time.

Robert Huddleson is described as 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing 130 pounds at the time of his disappearance. Investigator Don Reid with the sheriff’s office told the Quill in 2017 that Huddleson was last seen July 27 that year, putting out trash at his home 12 miles west of West Plains off CC Highway, and he was known to walk the trails in the Mark Twain National Forest across the highway. Reid said Huddleson’s vehicle was parked in the driveway, and the walking stick had not been found.

The second man reported missing that year from West Plains, Collins, is described by the sheriff’s office as a white man with brown hair and eyes, who is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 170. He was last heard from in May 2017, authorities report.

Acosta, whose case is investigated by West Plains Police, is described as a white man with blue eyes and unknown hair color. He is reportedly 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 150 pounds, and was last seen at about 3 p.m. May 9 in West Plains.

Bennett was reported missing April 8, 2021, from Caulfield, and her case is investigated by the sheriff’s office. She is described as a white woman with blonde hair and green eyes. She’s said to be 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weigh 140 pounds.

Details about Roberts, Tarlton and Wilson were not immediately available to the Quill at press time; the Quill intends to follow up with more information on those cases.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Rader, Bennett, Briscoe, Little, Huddleson, Collins or Roberts is urged to call the sheriff’s office, 417-256-2544. Those who may have information about Acosta, Tarlton or Wilson and their disappearances are urged to call the West Plains Police Department, 417-256-2244.