Terminal teen wants dad to search for lost cousin - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Terminal teen wants dad to search for lost cousin

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The Calumet River bridge in Saint Mary Parish, Louisiana (from KATC) The Calumet River bridge in Saint Mary Parish, Louisiana (from KATC)
Lewis Mills Lewis Mills
Christopher Oates Christopher Oates

By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

Scooterville, GA (WALB) –  There is still no word on the whereabouts of a Worth County man who witnesses say fell off a bridge in Louisiana.

News of his disappearance and the search efforts are disappointing and frustrating to friends and family, including his 16-year-old cousin, Christopher Oates.

We told you about Oates battle with terminal cancer a month ago, and his focus on helping other cancer patients. His mother say the news of his cousin's disappearance has taken an emotional toll on him.

I met with Christopher Oates by his bed this morning. His mother says the teen is now bed-ridden and hasn't gotten out of bed since his cousin went missing.

This Christmas Oates had only one thing on his mind: finding his cousin, and instead of spending precious time with his father by his side, he asked his father to go to Louisiana to help find Lewis Mills.

Every night Oates sleeps with a picture of his cousin Lewis Mills underneath his pillow. "I put it closer to me cause I know he is close."

Lewis is Christopher's cousin, but he says, he's more like a brother. Before Lewis left to go to Louisiana he was here just about every single day with Christopher.

But last week Christopher found out his beloved cousin fell off a bridge in Louisiana, and hasn't been seen or heard from since. "We are real close, and its real hard on me."

Lewis helped give Christopher the strength to battle his terminal cancer, but ever since Lewis went missing, his mother Donna says Christopher has been going downhill fast.

 "He has not been out of this bed in two weeks since we found out Lewis fell off the bridge. He just wants his body back so he can rest knowing he was back with his family."

Lewis is so important to Christopher, that he told his father to go to Louisiana and help search for Lewis, rather than spend Christmas, and his final days with his father.

"The divers wont dive to go find Lewis, and I told my daddy to go back up there to find Lewis and bring Lewis home," said Oates.

"It's heartbreaking to see him without his dad, and his dad not being able to spend this time with him," said his mother.

Until Lewis is found, or his body is located, Christopher says he wont have any peace of mind and won't be able to rest easy until he knows his cousin is back with his family, and those who love him the most.

Christopher says he hopes divers will soon be able to go into the lake and search for a body, but until they find him, he will continue to sleep with his picture under his pillow.

Christopher says he wants to say a special thank you to all the volunteers and family members currently in Louisiana assisting with the search effort.

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