MADISON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — For the last five months, Madison County investigators have been searching for Jason Lierl.
“It was Jason and I who grew up together,” Sara Wood said.
Wood and her brother, Lierl, haven’t spoken to each other since late January.
“The last text messages that I received from him,” she said. “I almost wondered if they even came from Jason.”
Lierl hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
“There are so many people who have given up that hope,” Wood said. “I don’t know what my life is going to look like without Jason.”
Madison County Sheriff’s Deputy Stephen Brown is tasked with retracing Lierl’s last steps.
He says Lierl’s belongings have been found all over Northwest Arkansas, including keys, a car and a motorcycle.
“We had to go back and figure out who he knew and who knew him and go from there and see what they know,” Brown said.
The car was found parked outside of Northwest Arkansas Mall in Fayetteville.
Police searched it in early February.
“There were things of evidentiary interest that were found,” Brown said. “Some of those things were sent to the Arkansas state crime lab and we’re awaiting results on some of those things.”
Wood and her family stood just feet away, watching the search unfold, holding their breath.
“What if our brother is in the trunk of this car?” she said.
Lierl’s motorcycle was parked outside of an acquaintance’s house near Clifty in Madison County.
“My brother would say that they were friends,” Wood said. “How good of friends, I don’t know if that’s really easy to determine.”
“Jason’s acquaintances that he was last believed to be with, It’s a tight circle of people but they have a wide footprint,” Brown added.
Wood says that Lierl battled drug addiction. She and her son Brandon, Jason’s nephew, fear he relapsed around the time he disappeared.
“Throughout the month of January, he came upon some very dark times and unfortunately I think he turned back to some things that were in Madison County,” Brenndon said. “Some people he, perhaps, maybe he shouldn’t have been around.”
Wood turned to social media for help.
A page made to spread awareness about her brother’s disappearance quickly attracted thousands of followers and several theories about what may have happened.
“The stories that I’ve heard from so many different people about my brother’s disappearance have been so off the wall,” Sara said. “They’re just crazy, they do not make any sense.”
“We have a lot of information to go through,” Brown said.
The Sheriff’s Office says one of Jason’s friends reported he was last seen walking down a road in the Chana’s Corner area in Huntsville.
Brown says their focus is on rural Northwestern Madison County and the most recent search was just a few weeks ago.
“In a big city, you have a lot of people typically,” Brown said. “A lot of people you have a lot of eyes, a lot of eyes you get more information, out here in the county it’s not like that.”
As the investigation continues, Wood and her family are once again left holding their breath.
“We don’t know whether it’s time to mourn or if we should have hope that he’s going to come back,” Brenndon stated.
“He’s a great brother, a great father,” Wood said. “He deserves to be found.”
The Sheriff’s Office says it has identified several persons of interest. It’s also still waiting for results from the crime lab, which investigators say could take years.
Wood is offering a $10,000 reward for anyone who finds her brother.
If you have any information as to where Jason Lierl could be, Call the Madison County Sheriff’s Office at 479-738-2320.