Mentally disabled Yoakum man missing for 3 weeks

Jon Wilcox By Jon Wilcox

Nov. 20, 2017 at 8 p.m.
Updated Nov. 21, 2017 at 6 a.m.

Bobby Holster, 55, has been missing since Nov. 1.

Bobby Holster, 55, has been missing since Nov. 1.   Contributed photo for The Victoria Advocate

Family members are searching for a mentally disabled Yoakum man who disappeared after a late-night jail release in early November.

"We are very worried," said the man's older brother, Vincent Rinehart, 62, of Rockwall.

Victoria County Sheriff's Office officials released Bobby Lee Holster, 55, in the predawn hours of Nov. 1 after a three-month stint behind bars for a probation violation. Family members reported him missing the next day.

Although doctors had diagnosed Holster with a learning disability after discovering brain damage from a childhood fever, the Yoakum man began suffering from new symptoms in his 50s, Rinehart said.

In 2015, Holster was arrested for reckless driving and possession of an unlicensed firearm.

Rinehart said he considered those crimes outside of his brother's normal character and evidence of some undetected mental illness.

Then Holster was discovered wandering the streets in a zombie-like state - a far cry from his previously upbeat demeanor, his brother said.

And Holster, once a hefty man, has lost considerable weight, he added.

"Our brother was a changed person," Rinehart said.

Lane Johnson, chief of clinical services at the Gulf Bend Center, said a variety of mental illnesses can manifest later in life.

He recommended those with concerns for family members consult psychiatrists or visit the Gulf Bend Center. At the center, mental health screenings are available at little or no cost.

"People are seen here at Gulf Bend regardless of their ability to pay," he said.

While Rinehart said he is focused on finding his brother, he admitted to having some concerns about the jail's release policy.

But late-night releases are common at the jail and not the result of decisions by jail staff, said Deputy Bryan Simons, sheriff's office spokesman.

In Holster's case, after he was released for time served, the jail had no other option but to comply.

"Once they fulfill their obligation, we can't hold them legally," Simons said.

Jail staff also notified Holster's ex-wife after his release, but the woman declined to pick him up, Rinehart said.

According to a Lavaca County Clerk's Office employee, their divorce was finalized Oct. 17.

By the time Holster's ex-wife told family members what had happened, the man could not be found.

"From what we understand, the jail called the only number he could remember," Rinehart said.


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