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Dustin Monke, Forum News Service, Published August 20 2013

Mother of missing Texas teen last seen in Dickinson offers $5,000 reward for information

DICKINSON, N.D. - The mother of a Texas teen who reportedly went missing from a Dickinson construction site is offering a $5,000 reward for information that would lead to his whereabouts.

According to Jolene Stubbs, 16-year-old Edward “Ashton” Stubbs disappeared June 17 from a job site north of Walmart. From that point on, his path is unknown.

Jolene Stubbs, who lives in El Paso, Texas, said Tuesday in a phone interview that she believes either someone is helping her son or he has been abducted and is being held against his will.

She also believes he could still be in Dickinson.

“I believe he got angry because of something that happened on the job and he walked off,” Jolene Stubbs said.

Jolene Stubbs had put her son on a bus from El Paso to Fargo in early June. He was to work for a construction company with his cousin, who lived in Fargo. The construction company sent the two to Dickinson. Neither Jolene Stubbs nor her sister-in-law, Julie Stubbs, knew the name of the construction company.

Jolene Stubbs said her son left behind his wallet, money and identification when he walked off the jobsite. He was suspected to have boarded a bus in Dickinson en route to Fargo.

Despite reports that Edward Stubbs had stopped at his cousin’s apartment June 20, detectives from both the Fargo and Dickinson police departments said Tuesday there is no definitive evidence that ever happened.

Lt. Joel Vettel of the Fargo Police Department said when Jolene Stubbs flew to Fargo from Texas and visited with police to report her son as missing, she also contacted media outlets in Fargo. Vettel said that generated about 20 supposed sightings.

“We followed up on those,” Vettel said. “None turned out to be legitimate, as far as him being here. … There has been no really concrete evidence that he was here after he was reported missing.”

Julie Stubbs, who lives in Fargo, said she distributed missing posters with her nephew’s face and information on them around Dickinson and claims to have spoken with a Hispanic man at a Mexican food vendor who said he had seen Edward Stubbs. The man described to her what the boy was last seen wearing.

“I handed him a poster and he said, ‘I saw this kid,’ ” Julie Stubbs said. “Before I even told him anything, he described to me the blue sweater.”

Neither Vettel nor Officer Terry Oestreich, an investigator with the Dickinson police, said they have been contacted by Jolene Stubbs with information that someone in Dickinson had reportedly seen Edward Stubbs.

Jolene Stubbs said she hasn’t contacted the detectives because she is not convinced the man who reported seeing her son in Dickinson was telling the truth.

“To my knowledge, we have not had any new leads for a couple weeks,” Vettel said.

Jolene Stubbs said her son “didn’t have the best health,” but would not expand further on the nature of his ailments. Vettel said there is a possibility that Edward Stubbs has mental health issues.

Regardless of where her son is, Jolene Stubbs said she just wants to speak with him again.

“If this kid can just call me for 10 seconds — anyone who has him or just him — just one phone call to tell me he’s alive and OK,” she said.