KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Investigators believe a missing Excelsior Springs man was abducted by a teen-ager and two men linked to killings, auto thefts and other crimes, including a bungled purse snatching in Huntington Beach.
The three suspects remain at large.
The disappearance last Wednesday of Richard L. Drummond, 47, in Kingdom City was reported to police by his family after he failed to phone home, attend business appointments or meet a co-worker for dinner.
John McGovern, Excelsior Springs police chief, said investigators don't think Drummond, an AT&T supervisor, is still with his abductors.
Officers searched the Kingdom City area in central Missouri by air Monday, and about 25 AT&T employees have been searching on the ground.
About the time Drummond vanished Aug. 24, a Blue Springs couple told police their 17-year-old son was missing with a car he'd borrowed a few days earlier.
That car was found in Kingdom City near a house that had been burglarized. A handgun was among the items taken from the house. Police theorize Drummond stopped when he saw the disabled car, was abducted and his car stolen.
Three days later, on Saturday, Drummond's car was found near Kingman, Ariz., where Joseph and Charlene Babcock were found shot to death near their home.
Police think Babcock, who was shot in the head, went outside to help a car that had landed in a ditch late Friday or early Saturday, said Tonya Dowe of the Mohave County Sheriff's Department in Arizona.
Charlene Babcock's body was found in the doorway of the house. Police think she might have witnessed her husband's death.
The killers left behind Drummond's car and drove away in the Babcocks' pickup truck. A neighbor checking out the unfamiliar car found the Babcocks' bodies.
Last Saturday, two men in what police think was the Babcocks' pickup truck were involved in a bungled purse snatching at a supermarket in Huntington Beach. One of the men fired three shots at a witness who was chasing him, but no one was injured.