This Valentine’s Day, a father wonders what became of his beloved son.

Troy Daugherty has been missing since July 14, 2020. Troy and his father, James “Joe” Seaborn, both were handymen and flipped houses. They were in the process of restoring two more houses in Burlington.

Troy would have turned 50 the week after he disappeared.

Troy Daugherty (photo courtesy of James Seaborn.)

Troy’s truck was outside a house they were working on in Burlington. It was unlocked. The vehicle contained material Troy needed – including crutches and his pain-management unit – for his various medical needs. But Troy was nowhere to be found.

“The paint cans were still sitting where they were the night before,” James remembers. “He never entered the house.”

James and his wife adopted Troy when he was 12. He was one of many children they took in. James says, out of all of them, he had a special connection with Troy, who was very good at building things.

Troy Daugherty (photo courtesy of James Seaborn.)

“He was always pulling radios, TVs, things that were broken out of toasters, things out of the garbage, and he would tinker with them,” James said. “I remember I had a four-plex. I had it gutted and I showed him how to do the electric and all the new wiring on two walls.”

“He was 14 years old,” James said. “He did that whole four-plex.”

He could fix anything, his father told Local 4 News.

James says Troy had a lot of medical issues, some of which stemmed from a back surgery he underwent 10 years before he disappeared. The operation left Troy in a lot of pain that had led to accidental overdoses and suicide attempts, his father said.

The morning Troy vanished, the two, as usual, had coffee together and watched a morning news show. Troy left to paint the downstairs bathroom of the house they were fixing up.

Troy Daugherty (photo courtesy of James Seaborn.)

About 4:30 p.m., Joe showed up to the house and saw Troy’s truck, but no Troy. “He was just nowhere,” James said. He went into the hours and searched it. “I started all over from the top and looked in every nook and cranny.  I immediately called 911.”

Because of Troy’s back surgery, one of Troy’s legs was smaller than the other, and one foot turned sideways. “He wouldn’t have walked more than a few blocks,” James says.

Joe struggles to make sense of what happened to Troy. One scenario is he went off and killed himself, he says. But then there’s the other possibility.

“He had bought a .45,” Joe says. Perhaps he showed the gun to somebody, who might have said “I know where we can shoot that gun.” Troy would have handed another person the weapon, James says. Possibly he was killed with his own gun.

James emphasizes his son was not an addict. “He was trying to mitigate his pain.”

Troy Daugherty (photo courtesy of James Seaborn.)

In the meantime, James wonders exactly what has happened. None of the tips he has received have panned out.

“I’ll go months and think he was murdered, and I’ll go months and think it was suicide,” he said. “Nothing’s good. There’s no ideal in any scenario.”

“I’ve cried so much I can’t cry anymore,” says James, who has his son’s mastiff, Daisy. “She grieved with me,” he said.

Every Saturday, James still posts on a Burlington news site with the hope of finding information that will lead to the whereabouts of his son.

If you know anything that could help bring peace to Troy’s family, call the Burlington Police at 319-753-8366.