WILLISTON, N.D. (KXNET) — The Williams County Sheriff’s Office is continuing a missing person investigation that took place back in 2013.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, they are hopeful that advances in technology and an increase in the number of outlets for information sharing will uncover new information that could be useful for locating José Christopher Lee, who went by “Joe,” who was initially reported missing on June 2, 2013.

Back in 2013, Joe had borrowed a vehicle from an acquaintance in Williston on June 1 and was expected to return it the following day. The vehicle was found abandoned on June 3 on the side of the road on County Road 6, near Epping-Springbrook Dam.

Joe’s cell phone was found inside of the vehicle. South of the road, near Stony Creek, personal items were located that are thought to have been Joe’s.

Law enforcement conducted a thorough investigation, using cadaver dogs, an airplane, sonar, and rescue divers to search the area.

Detective Caleb Fry says after interviewing some of Joe’s family in Arizona and Tennessee, he was known to drop off the radar occasionally, but would always contact his relatives.

“I don’t think this is uncommon, but the family says that it doesn’t matter where Joe was, he’d always call his dad on his birthday and in 10 years, he has not called his father on his birthday,” Fry said.

(Photo Courtesy: Williams County Sheriff’s Office

Officials are reporting the following information about Joe:

  • His birth date is October 23, 1968.
  • He is approximately 5’9” and 210 pounds with hazel eyes and black hair. He has tattoos on the back of his left shoulder and on both arms.
  • When Joe borrowed the vehicle, he was with an individual known as “Skeeter,” who was wearing a cowboy hat.
  • At the time of his disappearance, he did not have a permanent residence and was employed as a cook at Big Willie’s.
  • He has ties to family and friends in Arizona and Tennessee.

If you know any information regarding this case, please contact Sergeant Detective Caleb Fry at (701) 577-7700 with any information about Joe, whether it is about his past or his whereabouts today. Anonymous tips can be sent by texting NDWILLIAMS to 847411.