DURHAM: Vigil scheduled Friday for missing Durham man - WSMV Channel 4

Vigil scheduled Friday for missing Durham man

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After Kent Hinkson didn't come home, his family members pinged his phone near Duke University around 5:30 p.m. After Kent Hinkson didn't come home, his family members pinged his phone near Duke University around 5:30 p.m.
DURHAM, N.C. -

A prayer vigil will be held Friday at 7 p.m. for a Durham man who has been missing since Monday.

The vigil will be held at Vintage Church, the former home of All Saints Church, at 4310 Garrett Road in Durham.

On Thursday, volunteers were armed with maps and flyers searching for missing 71-year-old Kent Hinkson.

"It's a beautiful thing to have people that you don't even know handing out flyers, talking to people. It's amazing. The community has been fabulous," said Hinkson family friend Brenda Ellison.

Family members last saw Kent Hinkson Monday around 3 p.m. at his home. He made a deposit at the Wells Fargo Bank in the Woodcroft Shopping Center on Hope Valley Road shortly after and also purchased something at a Rite Aid. Family members said police have surveillance photos from both the bank and Ride Aid that confirmed Hinkson was at those locations.

Hinkson's family thought they had a promising lead when they pinged Kent's cellphone, showing it was in the Duke University area. But a short time later, they tried again without any result.

Police found his car Wednesday at an apartment complex on Williamsburg Road in Durham.

“I was excited that there was some lead, some answer that they could go toward to help them find an answer," said family friend Lori Stepp.

They day police found Hinkson's car also happened to be the day of his 48th wedding anniversary. Hinkson and his wife Jeline moved to Durham in 2008 to be closer to family.

He has served as a volunteer priest at All Saints Church in Durham with more than four decades of experience as a Presbyterian minister.

“I think Kent is an amazingly knowledgeable, humble, generous and loving man," said Rev. Thomas Kortus, Interim rector at All Saints Church. “I think the church is reeling and overwhelmed by unanswered questions,' Kortus added.

Kortus said that Hinkson was more than a friend; he was a father figure.

“There's still cigar ash on my back deck from smoking cigars with him less than a week ago and drinking bourbon and talking about life and God and marriage and faith and suffering and death," Kortus said. “Wherever he is, he knows God is with him," Kortus added.

The family is also relying on their faith.

"The prayer. That's what's keeping us going, really. Otherwise, I would just be crying all day," said his oldest daughter Beth Perry.

Police described Kent Hinkson as a male with blue eyes, gray hair, mustache and goatee, standing 5 feet 8 inches tall with a medium build.

Hinkson wears prescription glasses, according to police. He also may be wearing a black leather hat.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Investigator M. Richards at (919) 560-4440, ext. 29335 or the main police desk at (919) 560-4427.

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Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

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