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Tyler family searching for missing 21-year-old with chronic illness

Corbin Stiefer was last seen on Jan. 6 in Tyler. Stiefer is 5’9 with short brown hair and a patchy beard, he was wearing a grey sweatshirt and blue jeans

TYLER, Texas — On January 6, Carys Stiefer sent a text to her daughter expressing how proud she was of her son, Corbin, for going to see his doctor on his own that day. However, 30 minutes after the appointment was scheduled to begin, Carys learned her son never showed up.

"Well, 30 minutes after the appointment was to start, I got an email from the receptionist saying, 'missed appointment,'" she said. "I thought that was very strange and this was during the pouring rain."

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The mother tried to call the 21-year-old, only to discover he'd left his cellphone at his grandparent's house where he'd been staying. She would later learn he also did not have his wallet or ID.

Corbin's sister, Darcy, was at work and didn't check her messages until around noon. When she saw the text from her mom about how proud she was of Corbin, she had a feeling something was amiss. 

"This instant, like drop in my gut that sibling instinct where you just know something is wrong," Darcy explained. "I called my mom immediately after reading that. She was just like, who called you, who contacted you, like we were trying not to tell you while you were at work."

From there, Carys waited for her son to show up. Darcy left work anxious about her brother, but for the next two days, the family had no idea of Corbin's whereabouts. 

Then, the receptionist from the doctor's office alerted them that a red vehicle had been in the parking lot on January 6, but Carys said she was told no one got out of the vehicle. 

Corbin was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in high school. Darcy said the chronic illness had begun to take a toll on him, but that he still was a joy to be around.

"He's been mentally struggling with just accepting his disease, and it just keeps relapsing, you know, medicines won't work for him," she said. "Then we'll have to start a new one. And he recently failed a clinical trial, it just stopped working, his body rejected it."

Corbin was scheduled to begin a new trial this week for his illness, but his sister feels this could have contributed to his disappearance.

"It is kind of his last chance, and the next step would be like a dramatic surgery that can alter his life," Darcy explained. "So I think he might have been a little bit stressed about that happening."

Since Wednesday, the family has been searching across Tyler for Corbin and his vehicle, a red 2014 Mazda 6 license plate GXB1645. He's described as 5'9 and about 110 pounds with brown hair and a patchy beard and was wearing a grey sweatshirt, blue jeans and gray New Balances.

Darcy returned to Abilene, where she and Corbin both attend Abilene Christian University. She and his friends have been searching there for him as well.

Carys says there was a sighting of a pedestrian in a gray hoodie in the Henderson area. 

"We've scoured Henderson and the police know about it," she said. "We're still hopeful on that one."

As of Monday, the Tyler Police Department did not have any leads into the whereabouts of Corbin. If anyone has information, they're asked to contact the department at 903-531-1000.

RELATED: Tyler Police asking for help finding missing person