Talladega County Sheriff Jimmy Kilgore said his office is using boats, dogs and aircraft to comb the area where Nicholas Bower, 28, of Villa Rica, Ga. was last seen.
Bower was seen Saturday at 11 p.m. sitting in a lawn chair near his campsite in the South Park Area of the speedway, according to a release from the Talladega County Sheriff’s Office.
Bower is 6 feet 4 inches and weighs 185 pounds. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with “FASTENAL” printed on the front and a black hat with “FASTENAL” written on it, the release said.
Kilgore said the search for Bower began Monday morning.
“These efforts are continuing and the search is ongoing,” Kilgore said. “We don’t know a lot more today than we did yesterday.”
The sheriff said he’s never heard of someone completely disappearing after the race. Kilgore said he’s had people initially report that a family member was missing during the race, but they were reunited shortly after.
Kilgore said maintenance and security personnel at the speedway have assisted the Sheriff’s Office with their search. The Etowah County Rescue Squad is also involved, Kilgore said.
Bridget Chambers, Bower’s sister, tearfully asked that anyone with information contact law enforcement.
“We’re grasping at straws,” Chambers said. “He disappeared without a trace.”
Chambers, 31, of Indianapolis, said it’s abnormal for her brother to avoid contact with his family and friends.
Bower, who works as the assistant hub manager for Fastenal in Atlanta, came to Talladega to watch the race with his girlfriend and a few friends, Chambers said.
Bower’s girlfriend of four years, Jennifer Boesch, 28, of Villa Rica, said she went to sleep in a car around 9 p.m. Saturday and left Bower sitting in a chair around a campfire with friends.
“I’ve never seen him do anything remotely like this,” Boesch said. “It’s completely out of character.”
Boesch said she woke up around 12:30 a.m. Sunday and discovered Bower was missing. She and several friends searched nearby campsites, but no one had seen him.
Boesch described Bower as a huge racing fan who went to the Indianapolis 500 every year.
Chambers and Boesch both asked people to check their recreational vehicles, tents and campers for anything that could help police find Bower.
Anyone with information regarding Bower’s whereabouts is asked to call the Talladega Sheriff’s Office at 256-362-6117.
Staff Writer Rachael Griffin: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @RGriffin_Star.