Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Details of Disappearance
Mr. Akopov disappeared after apparently driving to Raleigh and bringing home two other immigrants. Mr. Apokov was accustomed to going to Raleigh to meet with other Uzbekistanis, and it was normal for him to allow them to live with him at his Bladenboro-area home, until they found work.
Mr. Akopov was last seen by his landlord getting into his vehicle, (1987 Plymouth Caravelle, 4-dr light blue, license LDN-9565, VIN#1P3BJ36K3HC135239) with two unknown males on September 12. His landlord describes them as two younger males, between 5'9 and 5'11" tall, with stocky builds. Both were in their thirties. The day Akopov apparently disappeared, his landlord said she gave him directions to Nye's insurance office in Elizabethtown. She said he had been to Smithfield Packing Co. and the Employment Security Office with the two men earlier that day, apparently trying to help them find work. Mr. Akopov was known as a reliable employee and tenant. He did not report to work, pick up his paychecks, or pay his rent. His personal possessions were left at his usually "neat as a pin" home, in disarray, except a small dictionary he used for translation.
His landlord reported him as missing on September 22. He has not been seen or heard from by either his friends locally or his family in Russia. He had around $500 or $600 cash in his wallet, according to his landlord. Plus his two paychecks. His last two paychecks were never cashed. Family members continued to write to Akopov until law enforcement and members of a missing persons group found a translator to help tell them that their loved one was missing. Akopov had a wife and two children back in Uzbekistan. He regularly wrote letters to his family and other relatives, and sent photographs.
Foul play is possible in his case. No sign of Akopov, his light-colored four-door Plymouth, or the two tenants has ever been found. However, the skeletal remains of a man around Akopov's age, wearing similar boots, were found near Wilmington. No positive identification has been made on the remains.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Bladen County Sheriff's Office
The CUE Center
The Cue Center
The Bladen Journal