Family, friends ‘baffled’ by man’s disappearance
Jeline Hinkson wishes her husband could be with her to celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary, but she’s keeping her spirits up that he’ll come back.
“If he could be here, he would be here,” she said.
Her husband, Kent Hinkson, was reported missing Monday night after not returning from running errands. Family and friends are now working to piece together what happened to the 71-year-old..
Durhm police reported Wednesday Hinkson's vehicle was located tonight in the 1800 block of Williamsburg Road in Durham.
Jeline Hinkson said that on Monday, before she reported her husband missing, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
“We had had a very busy Sunday,” she said. “But Monday morning was quiet.” She said that morning Kent Hinkson woke up, spent a few hours on the computer and then in the afternoon he went out to run errands.
Jeline Hinkson said Kent had left to pick up lettuce for a dinner they were having with friends Monday night. He made a deposit at the bank, then went and bought a few items at the pharmacy. Those transactions led police to Kent’s last known whereabouts. No one knows what happened after that.
“He could have stopped to help somebody who might have had evil intentions,” Jeline Hinkson said.
It’s the uncertainty of what happened that is worrying Kent’s friends and family.
“You just don’t know what happened,” Beth Perry, Kent Hinkson’s daughter, said.
“It’s the not knowing that is the hardest part,” added family friend Brian Ellison.
Durham police investigators on Monday night located his phone near Hillsborough Road, around Bennett Place, where Kent Hinkson often volunteered.
“There would have been no reason for him to go up there at that time,” Jeline Hinkson said. “The people who worked there said they didn’t see him at all.”
Since Monday, an outpouring of prayer and support has come their way, Jeline Hinkson said.
“There was a prayer vigil last night,” she said. “Over 100 people were there. We’ve just had an abundance of food brought in.”
Visitors to the Hinkson household in the Woodcroft area, just off of Hope Valley Road, have been helping pass out fliers, and conducting a search. Many more across the world have been sending emails and communicating with the family through Facebook, offering up prayers.
“It’s just been life-saving (having that support),” Jeline Hinkson said.
“It’s been holding us together,” Perry added. “They’re putting our focus back on God. He’s our help in all of this.”
“And he’s the one who knows where Kent is, and he’ll get him back to us in some way,” Jeline Hinkson said.
Jeline Hinkson described her husband as a cosmopolitan man and an academic, who’s taught all over the world. He was a pastor for more than 40 years, and after he retired he became a priest in the Anglican Church.
“We’ve always been in ministry,” Jeline Hinkson said.
Kent Hinkson loved to read books about history and theology, and Perry said he could talk to anyone about anything. He was also a family man.
“He loves spending time with his grandkids,” Perry said. “He’s genuinely interested in the littlest thing his grandchild is showing him.”
Jeline and Kent moved to Durham about six years ago to be closer to Perry and her four children. In total, they have three children, and eight grand children.
Kent Hinkson loved passing along scripture and was planning on teaching classes on the Book of Revelations at All Saints Church, where he serves as a lay pastor, his wife said.
“He’s a friend to everybody. He’s a big personality,” Jeline Hinkson said. “He’s a friend to everyone he meets.”
Now Jeline Hinkson along with family and friends are putting together the pieces to try and bring Kent home.
“Somebody out there has to know something,” Ellison said.
Wednesday family and friends organized a search around the Woodcroft Swim and Tennis Club, near where the Hinksons live, to look for clues into where Kent could be.
“Everyone is just totally baffled,” she said. “No one can believe that he would just take off without letting anyone know where he is.” Kent Hinkson did not have any cognitive issues, and seemed in a normal state of mind, his wife said.
Kent Hinkson is described as a white male, 5 feet 8 inches tall with a medium build. He has blue eyes, gray hair and a gray mustache and goatee. He wears prescription glasses and may also be wearing a black leather hat.
He was last seen driving a red 2011 Hyundai Sonata with North Carolina license XZA-4259.
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.