Terry Eugene Rouse
Rouse, approximately 1991; Craig Thrift in 2012
Date reported missing : 05/11/1991
Missing location (approx) :
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Male
DOB : 06/14/1966 (55)
Age at the time of disappearance: 24 years old
Height / Weight : 6'2, 180 - 190 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : A button-down shirt, jeans, a camouflAge at the time of disappearance: -print jacket and snakeskin boots.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Caucasian male. Brown hair, green eyes.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Rouse was seen at a party on Swamp Road in Waycross, Georgia shortly after 12:00 a.m. on May 11, 1991. He may have left between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. He has never been heard from again.
An officer discovered Rouse's abandoned vehicle at the entrance to Okefenokee Swamp Park on U.S. Highway 1 in Ware County, Georgia later in the day. The car had been left idling, with the radio playing and the window rolled down.
A carton of cigarettes, a lighter, a full bottle of beer and Rouse's clothes and shoes were located inside the vehicle. The car was out of gas and the battery was low. Investigators are uncertain as to who drove Rouse's vehicle to the park entrance. He has never been heard from again.
Rouse was charged with driving while intoxicated earlier in 1991, but his loved ones said that it would be uncharacteristic of him to leave the area as a result of the arrest.
He may have had a limited edition single-action .45 caliber Colt pistol with pearl handles and a gold-plated trigger and hammer with him when he vanished. Authorities discovered a pistol in the Swamp Road area after Rouse vanished, but the weapon has never been connected to his case.
Craig Lester Thrift, Rouse's cousin, was charged with his murder in March 2012. A photo of him is posted with this case summary. The two men were good friends and worked together at the Thrift family's concrete business, but Rouse was reportedly having an affair with Thrift's wife.
Thrift had been a suspect since early on in the investigation and had refused to take a polygraph test. Early in 2012, several witnesses told authorities he had confessed the murder to them: he said he assaulted Rouse during an argument, then shot him to death and hid the body.
Thrift was found not guilty of malice murder in April 2014, but convicted of a lesser charge of felony murder and sentenced to life in prison. He will be up for parole in 2019.
Rouse resided in South Carolina prior to 1991. Foul play is suspected in his case due to the circumstances involved.
Other information and links : ncy
Ware County Sheriff's Office
Georgia Bureau of Investigation
September 2021 updates and sources
Georgia Bureau of Investigation
North American Missing Persons Bureau
The Florida Times-Union
The Doe Network
A missing person is a person who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as their location and condition are not known. A person may go missing through a voluntary disappearance, or else due to an accident, crime, death in a location where they cannot be found (such as at sea), or many other reasons. In most parts of the world, a missing person will usually be found quickly. While criminal abductions are some of the most widely reported missing person cases, these account for only 2–5% of missing children in Europe.
By contrast, some missing person cases remain unresolved for many years. Laws related to these cases are often complex since, in many jurisdictions, relatives and third parties may not deal with a person's assets until their death is considered proven by law and a formal death certificate issued. The situation, uncertainties, and lack of closure or a funeral resulting when a person goes missing may be extremely painful with long-lasting effects on family and friends.
Several organizations seek to connect, share best practices, and disseminate information and imAge at the time of disappearance: s of missing children to improve the effectiveness of missing children investigations, including the International Commission on Missing Persons, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), as well as national organizations, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the US, Missing People in the UK, Child Focus in Belgium, and The Smile of the Child in Greece.
Interactive Missing Person Search Map