BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Crimestoppers announced Friday morning the reward for information that leads to authorities to a missing Huger man is now at $4,500.
Willie Toomer, 78, has been missing since Mother's Day.
The increase in the reward is the result of donations, Crimestoppers spokesman Ofc. Harry Sosa said.
"We are hoping this increase, due to wonderful donations from the local community, will assist in bringing answers to the family and police agency," Sosa said.
Berkeley County deputies retraced their steps by horseback, ATVs and on foot in the search area for Toomer on June 29 but said the second search turned up no new clues.
Toomer, a well-known resident of the Huger community, had last been seen at church on May 14, and then was dropped off at his home after the service at approximately 12:30 p.m.
What happened next remains a mystery.
When Toomer missed his daily meetings with family and friends that evening and the following Monday morning, they became concerned and checked his home, which they found unlocked, deputies say.
Family members say Toomer is a creature of habit and would not have disappeared on his own.
"I know he's not the type to go off with anyone," Darlene Toomer Williams, Toomer's niece, said last month. "So I feel like something has happened to him."
Williams is Toomer's caretaker, often driving him to his doctor's appointments and making sure his bills were paid on time. She, along with Toomer's sister-in-law, Dot Scott, said this is "absolutely out of the norm for him."
Toomer is known to have difficulty walking and "shuffles" his feet as he walks.
Crimestoppers offered an initial reward of $1,000 for information about Toomer's whereabouts on May 18. On May 26, the reward jumped to $3,000.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office at 843-719-4412 or Crime Stoppers at 843-554-1111.