Harley McCourt had been struggling with his mental health leading up to his disappearance, and says he has limited memory of his months away from home.
On Oct. 2, 2021, a man named Harley McCourt went missing from his home in Landmark, Arkansas at the age of 26. For almost two years, the McCourt family frantically searched for their son, conducting numerous searches and interviews, but his disappearance remained a baffling mystery.
Now, eighteen months later, McCourt has been located on a beach in Galveston, Texas, hundreds of miles away from home.
According to family statements, McCourt’s father had last seen the young man in his bedroom around one in the morning on Oct. 2, and was quick to report his son missing when he could not locate him a few hours later.
According to People, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office said McCourt had been “severely depressed and distant for approximately three months” before he went missing.
He also reportedly struggled with social anxiety and had not left the house or used his phone in the two months leading up to his disappearance, so for McCourt to suddenly leave his home was unlike him, and his family immediately knew something was wrong.
In an initial search of the house, police noticed that McCourt’s cell phone, medication, and other personal items were still in his room. The only item missing was one black tennis shoe. For the small, tight-knit community of Landmark, it seemed as though McCourt had vanished into thin air.
His family immediately began looking for him in the neighborhood, conducting multiple searches, sometimes with the help of a K9 unit. All of them led to dead ends. With scant leads, the family decided to issue a $10,000 reward for any information about McCourt’s whereabouts, but it, too, led nowhere.
Then, almost two years after McCourt’s disappearance, police officers in Galveston, Texas stopped a man for walking against traffic. Police officers confirmed that it was McCourt by using information found in his backpack, and notified his family that they’d found him. But because McCourt had not committed a crime, police officers could not detain him.
McCourt’s mom and sister immediately drove the seven hours to Texas and began searching the area where police initially stopped McCourt. Finally, they spotted a man who resembled McCourt walking down a beach in Galveston. He was wearing a COVID-19 mask and glasses and holding an umbrella.
The man reportedly called out to them, and they rushed to get a good look at his face: It was Harley McCourt. The three of them embraced.
“Yesterday I got to put my arms around my son,” McCourt’s mother, Kim, wrote on the “Help bring Harley McCourt home” Facebook page. “Harley is back with his family and my heart is full again.”
With McCourt back home with his family, investigators are now trying to understand why he decided to leave his home that day. Unfortunately, McCourt stated that his memories of the months he was missing are fuzzy. He hopes that treatment and time will improve his recollection of the 18-month ordeal.
Police say McCourt’s disappearance is still under investigation, but in the meantime, the McCourt family is making up for lost time. After bringing him home, Kim bought her son new clothes and held a birthday party for him, as they had missed his 27th birthday while he was missing.
Additionally, McCourt’s family took him to a hospital in Arkansas to receive mental health treatment. According to his family, McCourt is making progress.
“A lot of his personality traits and stuff are coming out already and he’s started to get back to being happy,” Brittany Crumpton, McCourt’s sister, told FOX 59.
The McCourt family hopes that their story will inspire others in similar situations to never give up looking for their loved ones.
“Don’t give up,” Crumpton told Fox 59. “Keep the face, you know, keep pictures out. Keep it going because someone will see [them].”
After reading about Harley McCourt’s homecoming, discover the story of Patricia Kopta, a woman who went missing in Pittsburgh and later reappeared in Puerto Rico 31 years later. Then, read about the bizarre unsolved disappearance of Bryce Laspisa in California.