Dallas mother joins search for son who disappeared days before his new soldier Army orientation

Before his disappearance, Samuel Reyes called 9-1-1, fearing someone was coming to get him

A Dallas mother is desperate to find her son who disappeared while with family in San Antonio days before his new soldier Army orientation.

SAN ANTONIO – A Dallas mother is desperate to find her son who disappeared while with family in San Antonio days before his new soldier Army orientation.

Lanay Cohen has been in San Antonio since Sunday passing out missing person flyers and combing through areas where she believes her son, 32-year-old Samuel Reyes, was last seen.

“Sam is my first born,” Cohen said. “He is an amazing man. He had a lot going on for him. He just enlisted in the army and was supposed to go to boot camp in January.”

Cohen said she always had a close relationship with her son and talked daily.

“I am just so afraid and want him to come home,” Cohen said. “We stayed in touch every day and if not, every other day.”

Cohen said she lost contact with Reyes two or three days before he disappeared.

“He was supposed to go to New Soldier Orientation on Dec. 14 and then on the 15th, I couldn’t reach him,” Cohen said. “I wanted to see how his orientation went. So, I called his dad and stepmom and they said he had gone missing on the night of the 11th or the morning of the 12th.”

Cohen said she then reached out to his Army recruiters.

“They told me he was a no-call, no show,” Cohen said. “I checked his phone records and activities and nothing. He left his phone, his wallet. He left everything behind and that is not normal. He is just gone!”

Cohen said they filed a police report with the San Antonio Police Department.

“There is very little to no leads but the detective on this case has been amazing,” Cohen said. “I was worried that they were not going to help because of Christmas but they are doing everything they can to help find Sam.”

Texas EquuSearch, a volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to searching for missing people, is also assisting the family with the search.

“They are helping with drones and ATVs and everything,” Cohen said. “Whatever it is going to take to find Sam, we are not going to stop until we find him.”

Cohen said she and her family have been searching around bodies of water in the 200 block of Lake Crystal Street, near the home of Reyes’ grandmother, where he was last seen.

“There is a lot of water behind her home,” Cohen said. “Several lakes and a bunch of wooded area and brushes. We came out here and walked this trail for hours and we didn’t see anything but he could possibly be here.”

Cohen said she was told drugs may be involved in her son’s disappearance.

“I have been told to prepare for some of that,” Cohen said. “I hope it is not that. I hope he just decided to walk away and take a break and figure out what he wants to do with himself.”

She said her last conversation with her son was on Dec. 10.

“He told me he was looking forward to going into the army and he would let me know how orientation went,” Cohen said. “He was supposed to fly on Friday to spend the holidays with us before he went to the Army. I got to see him in October when my mom passed away but this was going to be a special Christmas for us.”

Cohen said his grandmother saw him last and recalled him saying “someone was coming to get him.”

“She reported that the night before he disappeared, he called 9-1-1,” Cohen said. “Police came to the property but didn’t know why. She told them he was disoriented and was hiding in the closet and was saying someone was coming to get him. The only thing I could think of was that he was maybe under the influence or something happened. Like why would he do that? Then for him to disappear with the door open, it makes you fearful that somebody did come and get him.”

Cohen, who said she will stay as long as possible to find her son, is pleading with the community to speak up if they have seen anything.

“If you see his picture or anyone who looks like him, just call,” Cohen said. “We just got to find him safe and sound or even if he is not, we need to know we can find him. Just says something. If you have my son, please just give him back. Spare his life for us if he is alive. He is a great guy, just have a heart and give him back.”

Cohen also had a message to Reyes if he is alive and watching her search efforts.

“Sam, if you see this, I love you and no matter what has happened or what you have done, it is okay,” Cohen pleaded. “I just want to find you and know that you are alive. Just let someone know you are okay. Call anyone to let us know you are okay.”

If you have any information that can help investigators, call Texas EquuSearch at 281-309-9500 or San Antonio police at 210-207-7660.

Related: Texas EquuSearch searching for possibly ‘disoriented’ man who disappeared nearly 2 weeks ago

About the Authors:

Japhanie Gray is a reporter with KSAT12 News.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.