Family: 'Foul play' over winning lottery ticket may be motive in man's disappearance three years ago

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A family is begging for answers this holiday season three years after their loved one went missing outside of a convenience store in Columbia.

Montey Donnell Thomas, 46, was last seen outside of Rick's Party Shop on Bluff Road three years ago. His family, despite the odds, has not given up hope on finding out what happened to him.

Family members say they believe Thomas may have left the store with someone he knew the night of Nov. 20, 2014. They say there are rumors that Thomas won the lottery at Rick's Party Shop a few days prior to his disappearance. His sister says that could have made Thomas a target and she believes there was foul play.

"He's not the type to just go off and not speak to somebody," Thomas said. "So, that's why we know that he is not still alive.

"I know that somebody had to see something because no one just disappears off the face of the Earth."

The Richland County Sheriff's Department continues to investigate Thomas' disappearance. Deputies say while there are people under suspicion, there are no new leads in the case.

Thomas' family is confident that someone knows something. They're hoping that a reward will encourage more people to come forward.

If you have any information about this incident, you are urged to contact Crimestoppers in any of the following ways: Call 1-888-CRIME SC (888-274-6372) or visit and email a tip. Your identity will be kept anonymous, and if your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

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