by: Gary Horcher Updated:SEATTLE —
The U.S. State Department told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News they are involved in the search for a local businessman missing in Thailand.
Friends of 38-year-old Nick Springer have been searching nonstop, since the developer disappeared after working at a construction site sometime Wednesday night.
“I think he’s been drugged and abducted,” said Harvey Sims, Springer’s business partner in Thailand.
“I just want him back,” Sims said via Skype from Thailand. “I fear for his safety. He’s in grave danger, and I don’t know if he’ll be OK.”
Sims, who has a home on Whidbey Island, was working with Springer to build a kitchen cabinet and woodworking factory in Pattaya, Thailand, at a beach that is a 90-minute drive from Bangkok.
“We were worried when he didn’t show up for work three days ago,” Sims said. “We went to his home, and found things were not right. His bedding was stripped off.”
Sims said a Thai security guard saw Springer either sick or impaired, being guided by a woman into a car near his home.
“We think someone must have drugged him and taken him away,” Sims said.
Sims has been frustrated by the lack of help by Thai authorities, who have just begun to search. The U.S. Embassy and the State Department are also looking into Springer’s disappearance, but Sims believes it might be too late.
“His ex-girlfriend had been threatening him for a long time,” Sims said. “She was the last person to answer his phone. We think she knows what happened, but we can’t find her now, either,” Sims said.
Sims is now hoping telling Springer’s story will convince U.S. officials to get involved.
“There’s a lot of crime here,” Sims said. “We just want him back. We’ve tried tracking his phones and playing detective, but we need to pressure the U.S. to help here and get this guy back home.”
Springer has owned several businesses around the U.S. He has lived in Seattle and Oregon recently. He has relatives in the Seattle area, who are working with U.S. authorities, but they declined to comment to KIRO 7 about the investigation.