‘I will never stop searching:’ Family continues to search for missing Branchville man
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The family of an Orangeburg County man who has been missing for almost a year now, held a march and balloon release in his honor Saturday afternoon.
Authorities say Hiram Johnson was last seen Friday, November 23rd near his Branchville home.
Family members say he got into a black car with someone he thought he could trust and was never seen or heard from again.
Since last November of 2018, the family says they have been doing everything they can to find him.
“The only way that I would give up, they would have to put his body in my hands. I would never believe that my son is not there. He’s there. He’s there,” Lorraine Johnson, Hiram’s mother said. “It’s like a rollercoaster, you have your good days and your bad.”
As each day goes by, the family holds onto each other, praying that Hiram Johnson, or “sport” as they call him is still alive.
“I get up at night and look out the windows just to see if he’s you know… out by the road but, it’s ok. It’s ok,” Johnson said.
Hiram was last seen outside of his home in Branchville. That’s when family members said he got into a black car with someone he thought he could trust.
“It’s not so much of a shock it’s crazy. Because the young man he rode off with, I knew him all my life. All his life,” Johnson said.
So far in the investigation, Branchville Police said they found Hiram’s cellphone in the parking lot of a gas station just a couple miles away from his home.
His family said they received a ransom call shortly after Hiram’s disappearance – the caller demanding $25,000 and threatening to kill Hiram.
“They may have him, they may be torturing him but because one thing Hiram said to me too, a week before he left, he was sitting right there on his moped, he said no weapon formed before me shall prosper,” Johnson said.
As that message resonates and brings her peace, the family turns to their faith, as they fight to find him continues.
“It hasn’t been long enough to give up hope because he’s my only son, and I will never stop searching for my son.”
The family says Hiram was last seen wearing a white shirt with blue jeans and white shoes. He’s said to be about 5-foot-7 and the missing flier with his picture and description also mentions a long scar on the back of his neck that would be easy to identify, as well as a tattoo right below his neck.
Anyone with information on Johnson’s whereabouts is asked to call the Branchville Police Department at 803-274-8820 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
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