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Thread: Thomas Hughes (25) missing from Pittsburgh, PA since January 2021

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    Thomas Hughes (25) missing from Pittsburgh, PA since January 2021

    It?s been nearly three weeks since 25-year-old Thomas Hughes disappeared.

    On Wednesday, the reward for information on his disappearance doubled to $10,000. His employer, Bluewater Thermal Solutions, matched his family?s initial $5,000 reward.

    The Hughes family is doing everything they can to find Thomas. His parents, Jeanene and Tom Hughes, say their son has always been outgoing and loved by many.

    ?He walked in a room and he just shined. People gravitated to him. Did he make mistakes? Absolutely. Was he perfect? No. I?m saying it as if he?s not here. Is he perfect? No. But he?s my imperfect son,? said Jeanene.

    Thomas? parents say until recently, everything was normal. He had a steady job and has been in a relationship with his longtime friend, turned girlfriend Regan Ruff since last summer. He?d also been happy, helping to care for her three children.

    ?He was just telling me how good it feels to come home and have the kids give him a hug. He said it made him feel special,? said Tom.

    However, at least one of Thomas? friends noticed a change shortly before he disappeared.

    ?We found out he recently confided in a friend that he was feeling depressed,? said Jeanene.

    On Jan. 23, Thomas and Ruff came to visit his family from their home in Ridgway, Elk County.

    ?He was with me, his sister, and Regan at his sister?s house,? said Tom.

    Halfway into his first beer, Tom says his son went upstairs to the bathroom and was in there for almost an hour.

    ?The next thing you know, he comes running down the stairs and the last thing he said was, ?Could you just trust me one time?'? Tom said.

    Thomas got in his minivan and left. Tom followed a short time later, driving all over the area looking for him. The Hughes family eventually called the police and the official law enforcement search began.

    Police later tracked down surveillance video of Thomas in the immediate hours after he left his family.

    First, in a gas station on Brighton Road buying an energy drink. Then, driving his minivan at the intersection of 10th and Carson streets. And finally turning down 18th Street toward the Monongahela River.

    That final video was captured at 3:38 a.m. on Jan. 24.

    Despite extensive searching by family and police over a number of days since then, there have been no other signs of Thomas. His phone and credit cards have not been used.

    ?It?s just like he literally disappeared,? said Jeanene.

    Given his recent admission to a friend that he was feeling depressed, could Thomas have harmed himself?

    ?If you?d asked me a couple of weeks ago, I would?ve told you there?s no chance,? said Tom.

    ?I can?t imagine him not at least reaching out long enough to tell us that he?s OK,? Jeanene added.

    The unknown is agonizing and terrifying.

    ?I just don?t know, and I?m scared to death. He?s out there somewhere. Whether he?s dead or alive, I just want him home,? said Jeanene.

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    Police are still investigating the disappearance of a 25-year-old from Elk County who went missing in Pittsburgh on Jan. 23.

    The circumstances around the disappearance of Thomas Hughes are leaving his family and investigators searching for answers.

    Thomas and his girlfriend, Regan Ruff, traveled from Ridgway to Pittsburgh Jan. 23 to visit his parents. That night, he went to the upstairs bathroom and locked himself inside.

    “His dad had gone up multiple times to check on him,” Ruff said. “I myself went up multiple times and he just kept saying that nothing was wrong.”

    His father, Tom Hughes, said the next he knew, Thomas was running down the stairs, saying “could you just trust me this one time?” before getting into his minivan and leaving. His father followed shortly after, but could not find him.

    “I was driving everywhere and calling all his friends and no one knew anything,” he said.

    The police were called and the search began. Surveillance video captured Thomas at a gas station, then driving the minivan through the city. He was last seen heading toward the Monongahela River. The final video was captured at 3:38 a.m. His vehicle was eventually found by his parents on 18th street near Riverfront Park in Pittsburgh.

    “Everything was in there. The only thing that was missing was him,” his father said.

    His keys were still in the ignition and his belongings were still in the minivan. Police spent days canvassing the area and searching the river. They came up empty-handed.

    “It’s just like he literally disappeared,” his mother Jeanene Hughes said. “Every time I close my eyes I see horrible images of possibilities.”

    “He walked in a room and he just shined. People gravitated to him,” Jeanene said. “Did he make mistakes? Absolutely. Was he perfect? No. I’m saying it as if he’s not here. Is he perfect? No. But he’s my imperfect son.”

    His phone and credit cards haven’t been used either. Ruff has known Thomas for seven years and said she hasn’t noticed any odd behavior.

    “In my eyes Tommy is perfect,” Ruff said. “He’s outgoing, he has a heart of gold. When it comes to my kids he’s a great father figure, a great stepdad.”

    When asking Ruff if she believes Tommy is still alive, she responded “In my heart. And maybe it’s me being selfish but yeah. I truly believe that he’s still alive.”

    “I don’t know…I don’t know and I’m scared to death,” Jeanene said. “He’s out there somewhere. Whether he’s dead or alive, I still want him home.”

    “I pray every day that he just comes walking through that door,” Ruff added. “Just comes walking in here.”

    The reward for information on the disappearance of Thomas Hughes was recently doubled to $10,000. If you know anything, you’re asked to call Pittsburgh’s Special Victims Unit.

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