Kin seek info on Keyes man

Ten months after he disappeared in Humboldt County, Robert "Bobby" Tennison's family still hopes to find him, or at least learn what happened to him.

Tennison, 38, of Keyes traveled frequently to the coastal county to work construction jobs, but he didn't return from his last trip.

On Jan. 19, family members drove with Tennison the 300 miles north and dropped him off in Alderpoint. They haven't seem him since.

While police, friends and family sort out the mystery, opinions differ on his disappearance.

"We'd like to have some resolution. We want some answers," said Tammy Lankford, Tennison's cousin.

Most family members suspect Tennison was murdered, she said. When he disappeared, Tennison's travel bags were left at a friend's house, so he wouldn't have just walked away, Lankford said. She added that he has no history of mental illness.

Tennison has four sons whom he wouldn't have abandoned, she said.

"He's never stayed gone for more than a week or two. It's not like him to not check in with them," Lankford said.

Officials at the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department aren't sure about Tennison's demise, and note that Tennison hung out with a questionable crowd while visiting Alderpoint.

Though Lankford noted that Tennison occasionally smoked marijuana, she said he wasn't into harder drugs.

"We believe he was murdered. We have, obviously, no proof," Lankford said.

Family members are upset with what they call the Humboldt authorities' lack of action, especially that it took months to get a police report filed. Tennison's mom was bounced around between Stanislaus and Humboldt sheriff's departments. Lankford also said friends are circulating rumors or tips, but won't give statements to the police, adding to the family's frustration.

The family doesn't have enough money to hire a lawyer or a private investigator, but Lankford hopes someone will step forward.

"We don't even know what to do at this point," she said. "He's been missing for 10 months, and it took them six months to start looking for him."

The family will continue to celebrate the holidays without Tennison. He also missed his birthday — he turned 38 Sept. 11.

Anyone with information on Tennison's whereabouts is encouraged to call Humboldt County Sheriff's Detective Dan Paris at 707-445-7251.

Bee staff writer Michelle Hatfield can be reached at or 578-2339.