OZARK COUNTY, Mo. — The Ozark County Sheriff’s Department (OSCD) posted on Facebook Friday it received a missing person report for a Thornfield family of three on May 5.
OSCD said 32-year-old Justin Ruggles, 30-year-old Jennifer Ruggles, and 5-month-old Barakah Ruggles were taking a religious sabbatical to Florida on a missionary trip at the end of February, potentially driving a Silver Ram 1500 with New Hampshire plates. Family of the Ruggles said they last heard from Jennifer on March 6.
“We complied phone records, banking statements, anything that we could do to be able to pinpoint where these where the family was at,” OSCD Sheriff Cass Martin said. “The information that we got was they [were] in Florida near the Everglades and they were they were supposed to go camping near the Everglades.”
OSCD said the department could not find any other activity from the Ruggles since April 12. Martin also said Justin Ruggles also goes by Joseph, and Jennifer Ruggles goes by Ruth.
“I would say this is kind of peculiar,” Martin said. “A whole three family members going missing is very strange. There’s a lot of areas that law enforcement is going to have to cover. This is going to be something we’re not just with Ozark County, but state law enforcement from here to Florida is going to have to assist.”
Martin said if law enforcement finds the Ruggles family, OSCD will be contacted directly.
“I know that the family is very worried,” Martin said.
OSCD is asking anyone with information to contact their office at 417-679-4633.