Carbon Hill missing man case treated as foul play investigation

By Alan Collins

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Carbon Hill Police need your help in locating a missing 24-year old man. Erik Ruiz last spoke to his girlfriend on Jan. 13 and his family has not seen or heard from since then.

"I told him I loved him. He told me he loves me. I'd like to have this resolved," Richard Sprouse, Ruiz's step-father said.

Sprouse lost his wife and Ruiz's mother a year ago. The step-father said he raised Ruiz as if he was his own son. Ruiz's told his step-father and grandfather about his pregnant girlfriend.

"He told us about the baby. They had an ultrasound. It's a boy. He was excited about it," George Sprouse, Ruiz's grandfather, said.

The Carbon Hill Police Department is looking for Ruiz. Police Chief Heath Allred says Ruiz's cell phone was located in nearby Marion County and this escalated the department's concern.

"We are treating this as a foul play type investigation. We are not leaving any rock unturned," Heath Allred said.

Chief Allred says investigators are looking for unnamed people of interest. The chief expects to  search the area where the cell phone was located in a couple of days. The Carbon Hill Police Department is hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. Meanwhile family members are praying Erik is alive and urging him to come home.

"Just come home. We miss you," Richard Sprouse said. Anyone with information should contact the Carbon Hill Police Dept. at 205-942-4411