(NewsNation) — After a single-car crash on a Colorado highway, Jacob Paddock-Weeks walked away from his vehicle, apparently unharmed. But four years later, his family is still searching for answers.
Even the joy of a new grandchild is muted for Amanda Weeks, still missing her stepson.
“In my heart, I still believe he’s out there,” Weeks said.
She has refused to give up on Paddock-Weeks, hoping for his return.
On Feb. 2, 2019, the 27-year-old man lost control of his truck on a stretch of Highway 285 in Jefferson County, Colorado.
“Jacob had been going about 80 miles an hour down the mountain, and he hit about 500 feet of the inner guardrail coming down the mountain,” Weeks said.
Witnesses say Paddock-Weeks got out of the truck, seemingly unhurt. He ran across the road and headed east, into the wooded hills. According to an accident report, his wallet, ID, and two cell phones were left behind in his vehicle, along with a small bag of drugs.
At the time of the accident, Paddock-Weeks was on probation for several misdemeanor charges, including driving under the influence.
“I think it’s probably more than likely the reason he took off from, walked away from the vehicle, was knowing that he had paraphernalia in there,” Weeks said.
It was the last time anyone saw her stepson. Weeks said police initially thought he made it safely off the mountain, ahead of a massive storm.
“We had the bomb cyclone storm that dumped a lot of snow in the area. We weren’t able to do a search of the area until the beginning of July,” Weeks said.
Still, Amanda and George Weeks have never given up hope, searching the rugged terrain near the accident.
“It’s a very hard area to search with the steep mountains. And then you have to worry about mountain lions and bears,” Weeks said.
The couple keeps hoping one day they’ll get a call from somewhere else, from someone who recognizes Paddock-Weeks’ distinctive tattoos on his arms and calf, a call that will help guide him home.
“In my heart, I hope that one day I get a phone call from Mexico and somebody’s telling me ‘I have your son here, he’s on the phone’ and we get to talk to him but after four years, keeping up that hope is one of the hardest things,” Weeks said.
Anyone with information on Paddock-Weeks disappearance can contact the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department at (303) 271-5195.