A former member of the Harlem Globetrotters has gone missing after leaving Southern California on a road trip to Washington state, sheriff’s officials and family members said.
Rico Omarr Harris, 37, left about 1 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 10 from a home he shares with his mother in Alhambra to see his girlfriend in Seattle, the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department said Monday.
Harris' Nissan was found by a deputy in Yolo County Regional Parks near Rumsey three days later, the sheriff’s department said. Investigators found his backpack and cellphone near the car.
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"I'm shocked, I was totally shocked," Harris' mother Margaret Hernandez told NBC4 on Tuesday. "He's 6 foot 9, but people are evil and you never know."
Harris' mother said she last spoke with her son by phone on 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 10 when Harris said he was driving through the Sacramento area. Deputies checked in with Harris’ girlfriend, who said he had not arrived. She said she last spoke to Harris on the phone at 10:45 a.m.
"He never had disappeared like this, and there's nothing going on in his life that would cause him to do something like that," stepfather Charles Taylor said. "He's like the glue to our family. His girlfriend calls him a gentle giant, and really thats what he is."
Searches for Harris in Yolo County have been unsuccessful, investigators said.
Harris is described as a 6-foot-9-inch black man weighing about 280 pounds.
"My son is a wonderful person," Hernandez said. "He has touched many, many lives, so I'm very hopeful that he's going to come out of this and we're going to find him."