It’s a gut-wrenching feeling to know that something is severely wrong, and that the person you love most in the world is out there somewhere hurting, Baylee Englebert said. It’s been nearly a week since her husband Chance left home and hasn’t been heard from since.
“I’ve definitely had better days,” she said from her family’s home in Gering, Nebraska, where the Moorcroft couple and their infant son had been visiting when 25-year-old Chance disappeared July 6.
So far, there’s been little to go on as the family and police expand their search. The Scottsbluff Star Herald reports that after an extensive 2,400-acre search of the area, involving 18 agencies, a patrol helicopter, and about 150 people on the ground, police still have no clue as to his whereabouts.
A call from County 17 to the Gering Police Department was not returned by press time.
According to Baylee, Chance had been golfing “with the guys” Saturday afternoon before returning back to the house. Later, he took a walk and never returned.
He was last spotted around 7:30 p.m. leaving the 700 block of O Street in Gering. Police traced his last phone location to the vicinity of WTT Truck Stop at around 10 p.m.
The question of whether Chance would have left on his own accord is immediately quashed by Baylee, who said, no way, not the man she knows, nor was he undergoing any kind of stress to her knowledge. Recently, he’d been laid off with nearly 600 other employees at the Blackjewel Belle Ayr mine but had already secured a new job and was set to begin the following Monday, while Baylee planned to begin the nursing program at Gillette College in the fall.
Now, all plans are on hold as 20-year-old Baylee awaits any word about her husband’s whereabouts as investigators continue their search.
Baylee reiterated that she doesn’t believe her husband left voluntarily and said she fears the worst. They’ve been together for two years, and in that time, he’s never done anything remotely like this, she said. At best, if he was upset, he’d take a short walk around the block but always came right back. Nor does he have any type of mental illness or medical condition that might warrant his getting lost or confused.
Half-joking, she said that if he doesn’t get his tail back here soon, she’s selling all his derby cars.
“That should get him hauling home,” she said in a brave attempt at levity.
“Honestly,” she said. “I think he’s either severely injured or dead. He would never leave his son. He loved being a dad.”
He’s super responsible, she said of her husband, and would never step away from them. It’s been a long week, and she’s feeling overwhelmed as she recounted the latest tip police received about a possible sighting of Chance standing along the highway near an Evanston, Wyoming, exit that has since proved to be inconclusive.
As of Friday morning, she still has no idea of where her husband might be as she attempted to put on a brave face and pray for the best.
She hopes Chance’s disappearance is a big wake-up call for the rest of the state, and what she considers to be Nebraska’s huge missing persons epidemic that nobody is talking about.
“Something is wrong here,” she said, but did not cite examples.
In the meantime, the Englebert family has culled together an $8,000 reward for anyone with information regarding his disappearance that leads to solving the case. Chance is 5’ 9” with a medium build, sun-lightened brown hair, a mustache and goatee, and was last seen wearing a striped, short-sleeved Wrangler shirt, jeans, old-school Ropers, and a black-and-white trucker cap.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Gering Police Department at (308) 436-5088.
Friends have set up a GoFundMe page to aid the family.