Gary Lynn Mullinax
Gary Lynn Mullinax
Gary Lynn Mullinax, Amy Whitcomb and her mother in 1976
Gary Lynn Mullinax & Whitcomb's mother on their wedding day
Amy Whitcomb, Mulinax's daughter
"I live through my pictures. I look at them everyday," says Amy.
Her story will touch at your heart.
She explains, "There's no way to explain how it is to live with a piece of you missing."
It's an emotional journey Whitcomb has lived for more than three decades.
She's never met her father, Gary Mullinax.
"I would tell him about how every year when my birthday would come around when I blew out the candles that my wish would be for me to find him," she says.
Amy was just three months old. Her parents were separated. The year was 1976.
She says, "He had left me some stuffed animals and some money and that was it."
Mullinax left without a trace. He was last seen in Benton.
His parents, siblings and friends never heard from him again. And 21-year-old Mullinax was a family man, so leaving was out of the ordinary.
She explains, "I just don't see how someone could come up missing and nobody can have any explanation for it."
A few days after he disappeared, his car turned up off Asher Avenue in Little Rock.
His wallet and keys were still inside. There was no sign of a struggle.
"I remember it being heartbreaking," explains Amy.
Fast forward eight years, Amy was now in the third grade and finally learning the news. It was a moment she'll never forget.
She remembers, "I overheard some talking in the house and that is when I found out that the guy I thought was my dad really wasn't my dad."
Years passed and Amy grew up. She had kids of her own, but her dad's smile never left her mind. Searching for him and finding answers is now her daily mission. Yes, it's been painful. She's heard stories that he worked for a drug dealer.
Amy explains, "I have heard rumors that he was killed by one of the people he used to drive for and he buried him on the side of the road. I have heard rumors that people have seen him up in Perryville."
Amy has told her story on Facebook hoping someone with information will see it. She's also tracked down his birth certificate. Every possible clue she finds, she saves.
She says, "The only reason that I think he would leave is that maybe he thought he was protecting me, but after 34 years I am a big girl I can protect myself."
In 1976, Amy says her father's family did file a missing person's report with Benton police. But detectives tell Today's THV, records after 1981 don't exist anymore. So, Amy hopes to re-file the report and have her DNA tested to see if it matches any unidentified remains in Arkansas. Her gut though tells her he's still alive.
"I would beg him to get in contact with me," she says.
It's a plea from a daughter to her father. He's a man she dreams of one day meeting, a reunion she prays happens soon.
"I would tell him that no matter what trouble he has been in or where he has been the last 34 years its fine," Amy says.
A private investigator is also helping Whitcomb find her father.
Amy has set up an e-mail address for people to contact her with any leads. It's email@example.com.
Today, Mullinax would be 56.
If you know of an unsolved murder or missing persons case, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Arkansas Cold Case series airs Wednesdays on the "THV 10:00 Difference."