Family pleads for answers after two men mysteriously disappear near Blanding

Mar 8, 2024, 10:40 PM | Updated: Mar 10, 2024, 4:49 pm

BLANDING — An investigation into the mysterious disappearance of two best friends is unfolding in San Juan County. The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office is saying very little, but on Friday, they served a search warrant at home, and family and friends are explaining why they believe it’s suspicious.

They desperately hope for answers and hope the public can help the men return home safely.

To Jeff LeBlanc, Christopher Owens — who goes by Toph or Topher — is like a little brother. LeBlanc has known Owens for about 15 years, and they talk once or twice a week. They’ve kept in touch while Owens works in Southern Utah with another longtime buddy, William Bull.

“They were doing recovery and the mechanical stuff. They were building some off-road rigs, and that was pretty cool,” LeBlanc said.

But just over a week and a half ago, on Feb. 26, all communication from Owens dropped off.

“His cousin texted me, is like, ‘Hey, have you heard from him?'” LeBlanc said. She said she responded, “Oh, I talked to him about a week ago, but that was the last time I talked to him.”

Christopher "Topher" Owens

Christopher “Topher” Owens (Courtesy: Jeff LeBlanc)

It seemed no one could reach Owens or Bull, who goes by Drew. Bull didn’t return home to his wife and three kids in Moab.

LeBlanc said he initially thought the two had taken off to go camping but became concerned by the discovery made in the room Owens is renting in Blanding.

“His wallet is at his house,” he said. “Everything that he would normally take with him is sitting in this room that he stays in,” LeBlanc said.

LeBlanc said it made him feel sick to his stomach.

“It’s literally like he disappeared into thin air, and we have no answers,” he said.

The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office announced on March 1, four days after the two were last seen, that they were missing.

“Information indicates the males left from the Blanding, Utah area; however, their direction of travel is unknown, and we believe they may be in a black Dodge pickup truck,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a Facebook post.

Christopher "Topher" Owens and William "Drew" Bull were last seen on February 26 in Blanding

Christopher “Topher” Owens and William “Drew” Bull were last seen on Feb. 26 in Blanding (Courtesy: Isabelle Bulle)

On Friday, the sheriff’s office updated the post to say that other agencies are now helping them with the case and that they served a search warrant on a residence in Blanding regarding the two missing men.

“The investigation is still ongoing, and the men are still missing,” the office wrote.

Deputies pointed KSL TV to their Facebook post and did not have any other information to release upon multiple calls to the department on Friday.

The sheriff’s office said the agencies helping them include the State Bureau of Investigation, the Utah Highway Patrol, the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Unified Police Department.

“For him just to go completely dark, you know, it’s just, it’s not OK. It’s not right,” LeBlanc said. “Something’s up.”

William "Drew" Bull

William “Drew” Bull (Courtesy: Isabelle Bull)

He is hoping that anyone living in Blanding or traveling down there can keep an eye out for Chris and Drew.

Wherever the two are, LeBlanc hopes they can hang in there.

“I love you, man,” he said, getting choked up. “Just want you to come home.”

Christopher “Topher” Owens is 28 years old, 5’6″, 125 pounds with black hair and several tattoos, as well as nose and lip piercings. The tattoos include a rose tattoo on his left hand, pink flower tattoo on his left hand, “Disengage” tattoo on his chest, and forearm sleeve. William “Drew” Bull is 29 years old, 6’4″, 280 pounds with brown hair, and tattoos. His tattoos include a rose tattoo on his left hand, Jeep grille on his left forearm, diamonds on his right forearm and elbow, and a car tattoo on his right forearm.

Anyone with information should call the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office at 435-587-2237.

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Family pleads for answers after two men mysteriously disappear near Blanding