Heather McGregor
Post Independent Editor
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

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February 23, 2012
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Battlement Mesa man has been missing since Sunday

PARACHUTE, Colorado - Paul Cunningham, also known as Paul Hodgden, 26, has been missing from his home in Battlement Mesa since Sunday evening. His friends, family and the Parachute Police Department are searching for him, but they have few leads on where he could be.

Cunningham was last seen running south from Shommy's Restaurant, 28 Cardinal Way in Parachute, at about 8 p.m. Sunday.

He had just been in a fight at the bar and restaurant, according to Parachute Police Chief Cary Parmenter. Officers immediately searched for him that evening as an assault suspect. Now he is the subject of a missing person search, Parmenter said, characterizing Cunningham as an "at risk adult."

Parmenter said one person reported seeing Cunningham running behind the Holiday Inn Express hotel Sunday evening. But no footprints were found in the snow there, the chief said. Another person told police that Cunningham was picked up by a motorist near the hotel that evening.

And on Wednesday afternoon, a person reported seeing him in a passing vehicle on I-70, Parmenter said.

"All these tips we are getting are unfounded," Parmenter said.

Cunningham is a rap singer with a budding music career, the father of two young children, a son and a daughter, and is employed by Kenny's Rig Welding, according to his mother, Mary Cunningham of Battlement Mesa.

He had recently gone through a rough divorce and survived a previous suicide attempt, she said.

The mother and son had a pact that he would always check in every 24 hours, but she hasn't seen or heard from him since he shoveled her sidewalk late Sunday afternoon.

She noted that after the incident at Shommy's, friends of Cunningham's ended up with his cell phone.

Mary Cunningham said Paul uses the handle "C4" as a rap music performer, and many of his fans know him only by that name. It stands for "fourth generation Cunningham."

His music friends haven't heard from him either, she said, and he was supposed to be arranging a gig in Grand Junction.

"He has never dropped the ball on his music," she said.

It's a confusing time for her and the Cunningham-Hodgden family.

"If he was hiding, the hiding would have ended by now," she said Wednesday afternoon. "He has always come home. Paul would not do this to his family, his friends, his fans, or to his son."

Her plea is to her son, and to anyone who might know of his whereabouts: "No questions asked, whatsoever."

"Please notify this family," she said. "We need to know something. We've got to know something. It's all about Paul right now."

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The Post Independent Updated Feb 23, 2012 12:41AM Published Feb 23, 2012 12:39AM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.