Six months after disappearing, Clay County man's absence takes heavy toll on family

Published: Dec. 21, 2016 at 12:52 AM EST
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While many people prepare to spend Christmas with their loved ones, family members of a missing Clay County man face spending the holiday without him.

Cecil Edward "C-Bug" Burkhart, 30, has been

for nearly six months. The last time his family saw him was early July.

Burkhart's aunt, Gloria "Gale" Collins, said the past six months have been marked by heartache due to Burkhart's disappearance.

"It's just like someone is taking a knife and jabbing you in the heart all the time," Collins said. "It's not gotten any easier. It just seems to be getting harder."

Also getting harder: finding leads in the investigation. Kentucky State Police said Tuesday the case is still open but they do not have any new information.

"If something has happened to him, I would really like to know so we can at least give him a proper burial," Collins said. "He really deserves that much. We deserve that much."

Burkhart was last seen on Saddler Road near Route 11 in the Oneida community of Clay County. A family member dropped him off to do some lawn care and maintenance work, but never heard from him after that.

"It's like it takes your will to live," Collins said, describing the feeling of not knowing whether her nephew is safe.

But Collins is trying to stay hopeful. She wears a red bracelet that won't come off until she finds answers on Cecil's whereabouts, even though it's difficult at this time of year.

"This is Christmas time, we're supposed to be happy and celebrating," she said. "I just don't feel that."

Burkhart is 5'10", around 170 pounds, has brown hair and tattoos on his back and arms.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts can call the Kentucky State Police Post in London at (606) 878-6622.

"It would be the greatest blessing of all just to know," Collins said. "Just please, somebody please help us."