EVERETT, Wash. - The family of an Everett business owner is asking the public for help to find him. Bill Wheeler owns the controversial Grab-N-Go bikini baristas stands in south Everett. Now Wheeler has disappeared.
Wheeler's family says he is a kind father and grandfather. He was last seen two weeks ago.
"I just know my dad would never disappear and I think somewhere along the line someone hurt him," said Barbara Wheeler.
Wheeler was under fire in the last year after his baristas accused of wearing too little and showing too much to customers. Five of them were charged with prostitution.
He spoke to KING 5 several times last fall.
"Law enforcement should worry about law enforcement, not worry about trying to police an espresso stand," Wheeler said.
"We've been calling everyday trying to figure out where he is," said Barbara Wheeler.
The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office says Wheeler left Everett on May 26 for Las Vegas, where his wife lives, to pick up his truck and drive back an espresso machine. But his burnt-out pickup truck was found near Victorville, California, on May 29. Wheeler was nowhere to be found and his family hasn't heard from him since.
Wheeler's daughter says the suspicious circumstances frighten her.
"A white SUV was seen with a medium-build man with lighter color hair and sunglasses getting out of the truck. It couldn't have been my dad because he just dyed his hair black and he can't wear sunglasses because he's colorblind," said his daughter.
The young women working at one of his espresso stands declined to comment about his disappearance, but say a new manager has stepped in.
No matter what people think of him, his family says he would never intentionally make them worry.
"He calls me, he checks on us, he calls my daughter and tells her poppy loves her," said Carolyn.
A spokesperson for the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office says they are working with the California Highway Patrol and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on the case.