New information revealed surrounding disappearance of James Island man

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A report released by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office is unveiling more information about what happened leading up to the disappearance of a James Island man.

In the report, a coworker tells authorities that he received a text from Howard's cell phone number, the day after Howard didn't return from work on Sept. 3.

Charleston County deputies say 55-year-old Bruce Howard was reported missing by his wife.

"We are looking for Bruce and I need your help in finding Bruce," said Michelle Howard, wife of missing man.

Howard's family and friends held a press conference Wednesday, pleading with the community to help bring Bruce home.

Michelle Howard says last Thursday started like any other, she and her husband left the house for work around 8 a.m.
Howard says she chatted with her husband on the phone, while they were both at work Thursday, around 11 a.m.

"It was very much a normal conversation," said Howard.

However, the night didn't end normal.

According to the report, a coworker is the last known person to have seen Howard Thursday night, sitting at his desk.

Howard was seen on surveillance video later that night, withdrawing $100 in cash out of a Wells Fargo ATM.

In the report, Howard's wife told authorities he rarely made purchases with cash.

The surveillance video from Wells Fargo is the last known sighting of Howard on Sept. 3. He never returned home that night.

"He has never not come home and we have always known where each other are, so it's alarming that he was not home on Thursday evening," said Howard.

According to the Sheriff's Office report, the same coworker who last saw Howard on Thursday, told authorities he received a text from Howard's cell phone Friday morning, Sept.4. The report states it came in at 9:20 a.m. and read "just got up...overslept..getting going."

Howard's coworkers say he never showed up to work that day.

According to the police report, Howard's wireless carrier says his phone last pinged in the St. George area.

Dorchester County Sheriff's Office was alerted and found Howard's Tahoe SUV on Friday.

The vehicle was parked, and locked, at the intersection of Sugar Hill Rd. and Country Club Blvd. in St. George.

Dorchester county Sheriff's deputies also reported finding footprints leading from the vehicle down a path into the woods.

"I am at a complete loss," said Howard.

Howard's family is holding out hope that a tip from the community may lead authorities to finding Howard.

Charleston County Sheriff's deputies say multiple agencies helped search wooded area of St. George , where Howard's car was found but came up with nothing more than the footprints.
As of now, authorities have no further plans to search that area this week.

Charleston County Sheriff's Office says there's no evidence of foul play, at this point. However, they're not ruling it out.

Anyone with information should call consolidated dispatch at 743-7200.

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