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Murders of Cole Thomas and Yolanda Bindics investigated on Still A Mystery

Cole Thomas and Yolanda Bindics
Cole Thomas and Yolanda Bindics both disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Pic credit: Family pics

Still A Mystery on ID has two more cases this week, and this time, it’s the disappearance and presumed murder of Cole Thomas and the murder of mum-of-four, Yolanda Bindics.

Thomas mysteriously disappeared in Benson, North Carolina as he drove home to Florida from Minnesota for Thanksgiving.

And in the case of Bindics, she was killed as she made her way home from work in Jamestown, New York. There are suspects in both murders, but no charges have ever been brought.

The murder of Cole Thomas

The 22-year-old Cole Thomas was first reported missing on Thanksgiving night on November 25, 2016. He was reportedly driving with two friends from Minnesota to see family in Florida for the holiday when he exited the interstate at Benson, got out of his car and vanished.

His truck was found at an intersection with the driver’s door open and the keys still in the ignition. There has been no sign of Thomas since then, and no remains have been recovered, but the police are treating the case as a homicide.

In July 2017, four men, Jeremy Carpenter, Anthony James, Rudolfo DeLeon Jr., and Julian Valles Jr, were arrested in connection with the crime. Carpenter and Valles were reportedly the passengers in Cole’s truck.

The four men were charged with felony concealment of a death, while Valles, James, and Carpenter also faced obstruction of justice charges. However, in 2019, the charges against all four men were dropped.

In June 2021, private investigator David Marshburn who was hired by Cole’s family, claimed that he knows what happened to the young man and that two of the four men who were previously arrested were involved in the murder. There is a suspicion that Cole may have gotten himself involved in an interstate drug deal.

Murder of Yolanda Bindics

The 25-year-old Yolanda Bindics disappeared on the evening of August 10, 2004, after finishing up for work. The mother of four young children had told her brother that she would pick up some milk on her way home, but she was never seen again. Her car was later recovered in an Arby’s parking lot in Jamestown.

Tragically, her remains were discovered just over two years later when a hunter stumbled across human bones in a forest approximately 30 miles from Jamestown. Investigators were able to identify the bones as belonging to Yolanda through dental records.

At the time of her murder, Yolanda had been dating Jamestown Police officer Michael Watson, and he subsequently became a possible suspect. During the investigation, various women came forward with accusations against Watson.

He was later charged with four counts of second-degree harassment, one count of official misconduct, and one count of fourth-degree stalking. However, in the case of Yolanda, he was able to provide an alibi, and he passed a lie detector test meaning no charges were brought against him. He quit the police force in 2006.

Another possible suspect is Clarence Carte, the father of Yolanda’s youngest child; Jamestown Police have said he remains a person of interest.

More from Still A Mystery

Follow the links to read about more murders that remain a mystery.

Najah Ferrell left her Avon, Indiana, apartment to go to work, but she never arrived. Shockingly, her severed foot was found in a retention pond by a fisherman, approximately 100 miles away. There are no clues as to what happened to Ferrell.

Zachary Lamb was murdered in cold blood as he and his pregnant fiance arrived home after a meal at a restaurant. The couple had been followed home, and Zachary was shot as he stepped out of his car. The police don’t know if it was road rage or a hate crime.

Still A Mystery airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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