Missing Massillon man could be linked to craigslist murders, FBI says

MASSILLON, Ohio - The father of a Massillon man missing since Nov. 13 said his son interviewed for a craigslist help-wanted ad that police said actually was a deadly robbery scheme that lured people to a nonexistent farm job.

Authorities said Timothy Kern, 47, was last seen in Plain Township. Police said he told his family he was meeting with a prospective employer that morning and hasn't been seen or heard from since.

An FBI agent told NewsChannel5 that investigators are reaching out to the public for help and they're concerned that foul play could be involved.

The FBI said it's unusual for Kern to be out of daily contact with his family. Agents would not provide details linking Kern's disappearance to the craigslist murder investigation. And agents won't say whether he answered a craigslist ad.

But Tim Kern's father, Jack, said his son apparently answered the craigslist ad on Oct. 30 and interviewed for the job with a man in an Akron restaurant on Nov. 9. His son left his car with a friend in Akron on Nov. 13 and was driven to what he was told was the job site.

Jack Kern said that his son was promised $300 a week, a trailer and a truck for the job near Caldwell in Noble County. Kern said his son was excited about the job because of the chance of bettering his life and helping his three sons.

Kern said he believes the outlook is grim because his son was never out of touch for long.

"Maybe someone has seen him," said Kern. "We have hope. We have to hope that he will be OK."

Timothy Kern may be the third man caught up in the deadly scheme linked to a craigslist want ad. Investigators said a Florida man was found dead in southeastern Ohio's Noble County last week, and a North Carolina man was wounded trying to escape. He told police he was lured by the online ad promising work.

Two people were taken into custody late last week, including a 16-year-old boy from Stow, and a 52-year-old man from Akron, Richard Beasley.

Anyone with information regarding Timothy Kern's whereabouts is asked to contact the FBI in Canton at 330-456-6200.

Keep checking newsnet5.com for more information.

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