BATON ROUGE, LA. (BRPROUD)– Ronald Bates, a 54-year-old veteran, has not been seen in more than 10 days.

Family and friends gathered to support the ongoing search for Bates during a Memorial Day prayer service at the Jewel J. Newman Community Center in Scotlandville.

His last known whereabouts were reportedly downtown near City Hall on Wednesday, May 17. Unconfirmed reports indicate he may have been seen on Avenue K the following Thursday, May 18.

The detective handling the missing person investigation attended the prayer vigil and provided an update. The detective says he believes “no foul play” is involved at this time.


The prayer vigil was attended by more than 30 individuals who spoke highly of Bates. His sisters, cousins, and other relatives were in attendance.

“You can see the hurt in everybody’s faces,” said Bates’s great aunt, Belinda Powell.

Burnette King led the vigil. King went to high school with Bates in Mississippi and referred to him as his ‘homeboy.’

“Prayer is the key,” said King. “Certainly, in times like these we definitely need to come together and pray.”

“Our brother was a veteran and like many servicemen, returned home with struggles that were difficult to overcome,” one of his sisters said.  “We just all want him to surface and be found safely and come home.”

The community plans to hold a search party later in the week.

If anyone has information on Bates’ whereabouts, they should call Captial Region Crime Stoppers.