Battlement Mesa man still missing after 7 months

On Paul Cunningham Hodgden’s 27th birthday Tuesday, his family sat down to a chili dinner, lit his baptismal candle and pondered once again the burning question of where he might be.

It’s been more than seven months since the Battlement Mesa man’s disappearance after a Feb. 19 altercation in Parachute, and his family and authorities still are trying to determine whether he has fled the law or, as they fear, may no longer be alive.

The reality is setting in for his siblings that his situation looks “quite grim,” said Battlement Mesa resident Mary Cunningham, the missing man’s mother.

“We know Paul and Paul would not be able to go this long without contacting his family,” she said.

Cunningham Hodgden was commonly known as Paul Cunningham, or by the name C4, which he used as a hip-hop artist. He was last seen running from Shommy’s Restaurant, and is accused of having struck someone there with a bottle or piece of glass.

He faces assault and other charges arising from the incident, and there’s also a warrant out for his arrest in connection with a failure to appear at a later court date over another charge.

Whether the charges against him are serious enough to cause someone to not only flee but cut off contact with family, Parachute Police Chief Cary Parmenter said he can’t speculate. But he said the more time that goes by without any indication that Cunningham’s alive or dead, “the more concern we have” about his whereabouts.

“We’ve heard so many different rumor and possibilities either way,” he said.

Police have obtained Cunningham’s DNA samples and dental records in case they should be needed. He said the number of tips coming in about Cunningham have declined over the months, although they still come in. Just last week, police checked on a possible sighting of him in town, only to find out it was someone else who also had tattoos.

Parmenter continues to hear that Cunningham is hiding out in Phoenix or Mexico, but he said police have “nothing solid” in terms of leads regarding Cunningham’s disappearance.

“Anything we hear, we look into it and follow up on it. It’s such a vast county, it’s hard to look under every rock and bush,” he said.

Mary Cunningham said she’s just begging that anyone who knows her son’s whereabouts will “have a conscience” and come forward. She continues to investigate herself what might have happened to her son.

“I face a lot of people, eye to eye, trying to seek the truth. ... We have followed every rumor and we have come to dead ends, but I continue to look for my son and I will always look for my son,” she said.

Anyone with information in the case may call Parachute police at 970-285-7630 or Cunningham at 970-285-2139.


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