Neighbors last saw Bingham leaving his Fort Smith home in a maroon 1998 Buick Regal about 2 a.m. June 8, 2000. Bingham had told his neighbors that he was going to go to Talihina. On June 17, 2000, his nephew reported Bingham missing.
Bingham’s car later was found at Cavanal Mountain near Poteau. A witness told investigators that he had given Bingham a ride to a nearby community, but took him back to Cavanal Mountain and dropped him off.
Authorities embarked on a search for Bingham. His vehicle, with his diabetic supplies, was at the mountain, and his dog was found near the area — but Bingham was nowhere in sight...
LeFlore County Sheriff Rob Seale, who worked with Poteau police at the time, said multiple agencies spent days searching the expansive, often dangerous land on and near the mountain. “There’s some pretty rough, rugged areas up there on that mountain. There’s old caves and some old mineshafts,” Seale said. “There’re plenty of places for someone to go missing and never be found up there.”