Update: Missing Clay County father found safe close to 1 month later

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CLAY COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Updated, April 19
Family members tell us Tony Hinkle was found safe and sound Friday.

He is back with his family in Clay County.

Original Story, April 12
26-year-old Tony Hinkle of Clay County has been missing since March 14.

His family members say he never goes longer than a couple of weeks without communicating with them.

"He's a nice person when you get to know him, but some people just don't like his ways. But he is family and I would do anything for him", said Nellie Fields, who is Hinkle's sister.

Many of his family members fear something bad has happened to him and that is the reason why they have not heard anything from him.

"I just pray that my young one comes back home safe. It's got me so torn up. I just feel like something's happened to him", said Loretta Patrick, who is Hinkle's mother. "Tony gets in touch with me when he can. And he has not. I just got a feeling that something's wrong with him."

Although the father of three young children was last seen at a homeless shelter in Frankfort, family members say he lived most of his life in Clay County.

Officials from Kentucky State Police say they have no information or evidence that suggests Hinkle is dead.

Family members we talked with Friday say the hardest part about this is hearing reports of bodies being found in the region and wondering if it is him.

They say it is hitting his mother the hardest.

"She's going to worry herself to death. She don't eat right no more. She's losing weight", said Joshua Melton, who is Hinkle's second cousin. "She's sick. She's been sick since he's been gone. She's losing her voice. It's just, it's hard for her. And when it's hard for her, it's hard for the family to look at her, and then we suffer even more."

Family members say they just want to know that he is ok. If he is not ok or if something bad has happened to him, they ask that you call them or Kentucky State Police.

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