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"Panicked" Kentucky man went looking for help in 1994 and has never been heard rom again


Twenty-0ne year-old Joel Mark Wells was last seen in Hazard, Kentucky on January 15, 1994.


Wells had been hanging around with a group of friends group of friends in the parking lot at the Hazard Wal-Mart, in the 'Black Gold' shopping center. He left after an argument and walked to a Burger King restaurant around closing time.


Wells banged on the door of the establishment, which was in the process of closing. He appeared panicked and was acting as if someone was after him. The employees at the Burger King called the police, who arrived within minutes, but by then Wells was gone.


Wells reportedly attempted to catch a ride with customers exiting the Wal-Mart store after he was last seen at the Burger King.


Tracker dogs caught his scent near the river behind the city hall, but a search of the area turned up no indication of his whereabouts.


Wells disappeared less than 24 hours after a gas station on Main Street in Hazard was robbed and its attendant shot to death. The murderer was convicted and sentenced to twenty-five years to life in prison.


Authorities investigated the possibility that Wells's disappearance was related to the earlier murder, but could find no evidence to support this theory.


Wells was one of fourteen children and left behind two sons.


His case remains unsolved.






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