Family of Randy Sellers speaks for the first time in cold case disappearance

Family breaks silence about missing son

INDEPENDENCE, Ky. (FOX19) - The family of a teen who disappeared in 1980 is speaking for the first time.

Randy Sellers, who was 17 years old at the time of his disappearance, was at the Kenton County Fair where police say he was intoxicated and got into a fist fight.

Officers were called out and picked Sellers up, but instead of taking him to a holding cell, they decided to drive him to his home in Visalia.

Sellers reportedly asked those two officers to drop him off about a mile away so he could sober up before going home, but he never made it there.

Kenton County police reopened search efforts for Sellers’ remains June 3 after a park ranger who was reviewing the case determined that a map being used as evidence may have been upside down.

“Total strangers have reached out to help a family who’s in distress and broken as you can imagine that you could be broken,” Sellers’ father John Cotton said.

This new potential development took authorities took Lake Kincaid State Park in Pendleton County, but after three days, nothing was discovered that would lead police to believe Sellers might have been there, said Det. Brian Jones.

The family is asking for tips and new information that could lead them to Sellers.

“I want to ask anybody out there that knows something about this case, that may have information dating back from the beginning. 1980. May have been with Randy at the fair. I have no idea. But there’s someone out there that has information that might be helpful," Cotton said.

His family holds on to the belief that he’s there in the park somewhere.

“I believe he’s at the park. I’m not sure where, but I know Randy is dead. Randy would never leave," his mother, Wanda Cotton said.

Kenton County authorities say in 1994 a convicted serial killer by the name of Donald Leroy Evans said he’d been at the park with Sellers.

They brought Evans to an area where we’re told he didn’t say word, but this was after he had already pointed out the location on a map.

Police also believed at one point Sellers may have drowned in the Licking River, but investigators searched there and found nothing.

A few convicted killers claimed they murdered Sellers, but none of those claims panned out.

The case has never been ruled a homicide. It’s filed as a missing persons case.

Kentucky State Parks, Pendleton County Sheriff’s Department, Kenton County Emergency Management, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and students from Towson University worked together in the search.

If you have any tips that could help authorities in this case, you’re urged to contact Kenton County Police.

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