UPDATE | Family of Drew Cato says third arrest in murder case isn't a shock

Friday, Nov. 2nd, 2018

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Seven months ago Curtis Cato got the call his brother Drew was missing.

"I was in Afghanistan in an undisclosed location doing an undisclosed job when i got the phone call from my mom," says Cato.

Five days later he landed back home, joining the search for his older brother.

"You're overseas doing a dangerous job and you know its dangerous however you're doing it to protect those at home those at home that you think are safe, that they're going to be fine that they're going to be right where you left them and then come to find out they're not," says Cato.

Shortly after Curtis landed, Drew's ex-girlfriend Blaeke Wolfe and her friend Devin Stringfield were charged with murder.

In bond hearings the District Attorney says the murder most likely stemmed from a custody battle between Drew Cato and Blaeke Wolfe.

"My brother was finally was like 'you know what I can't have my son live like this in these conditions'...he was going to take her to court and get custody," says Cato.

Now months later a third suspect is arrested in the Cato murder case.

Blaeke Wolfe's mom, Virginia Wolfe Reynolds is charged for concealing a death.

"We pushed for them to look at the mother quite a bit during the investigation because of course me and my father and my mother and my wife and everyone in the inner circle was like somebody else has to have known," says Cato.

Curtis can't bring his brother his back, but he can get him justice.

"It's sad all around and there's not much that can bring us comfort, but this can bring us that closure of you do this, now you have to pay and that's what we want as a family, those who took part in this we want you to pay," says Cato.

Virginia Wolfe Reynolds is out on bond, next her case will go in front of a Grand Jury.

Next up for Stringfield and Wolfe is trial.

November 1, 2018

AUGUSTA, Ga.-- (WRDW/WAGT) District Attorney Natalie Paine confirms a third person has been arrested in connection to the murder of Andrew Cato.

Virginia Wolfe Reynolds has been booked into the Richmond County jail on charges of concealing a death connected to the case.

She is the mother of murder suspect Blaeke Wolfe.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

McCORMICK COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) – DNA and an autopsy has confirmed that the body found Sunday in McCormick County is that of missing Augusta man Drew Cato, IV.

Family of Cato has already told News 12 they believe it was him, but this is the first confirmation from officials.

Cato has been missing since May 6th. His ex-girlfriend and a friend of hers have been arrested and charged with his murder.

A memorial will be held for Drew Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at First Christian Church of Augusta. That's located at 629 Greene Street.

The public is invited to the service.

Sunday, May 27, 2018
7:52 p.m.

MCCORMICK COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The Richmond County Sheriff's Office confirms it, along with the McCormick County Sheriff's Office and SLED responded to a wooded area in McCormick County where a dead body was found.

An investigator said they received information that the remains could be Andrew Cato IV. But, they also said they cannot confirm those details at this time.

The McCormick County Coroner also said she responded to the scene. The body is being taken to the South Carolina Crime Lab to be analyzed. The investigation is still ongoing.

7:34 p.m.
SLED officials said they received information about a body found in McCormick County. They said they have crime scene agents on the way to the area.

News 12 has reached out to the coroner, sheriff's office, and other sources to get more details. Stay with News 12 on this developing story.

Saturday, May 26, 2018
(News 12 at 6 o'clock)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Andrew Cato IV went missing earlier this month and the community went searching. Friday, investigators found answers, and the Cato family says they had a hunch all along.

"I knew from day one. I knew from the Sunday that we made the report, that one or more people at that address was involved in Drew's disappearance," father Andy Cato said.

Deputies charged the mother of his children, Blaeke Wolfe, along with her friend Devin Stringfield, who pulled the trigger according to warrants.

"That Sunday night when we were looking for him riding around." Andy explained, "We were getting different stories out of that household on the last time they had saw him."

The house he's talking about sits in the middle of Winter Road. Just feet away from their door, they kept signs up that offered a reward for information. And on social media, his ex-posted memories of them together, asking for him to come home.

"They were just trying lead everybody off a different path." Family friend Larry Diaz continued, "I think a lot of us and the family knew, one or more people in that house knew what happened to him. And come to find out, they did."

Investigators say they were crafting a story. But this investigation finally got to tell a different one--after a full confession from the two suspects.

"To see them talk about how much they loved him and missed him, that was cold hearted. That was cold-blooded." Adding, "if you don't have a conscience, you don't have a conscience."

But Drew's father says it was a very conscious decision, a pre-meditated one to stop Drew from getting custody of his son.

His father explained he got the call from Drew on Saturday asking for help with a lawyer. Then on Sunday, Drew was no where to be found.

"I think that whole thing stemmed from that conversation he had with me that he was going to go get custody of his son because he didn't want the environment and the conditions, he didn't want them to continue."

While they do have more answers now, one big question still remains: Where's Drew?

"We searched the area, we covered ground and when we pulled off this area [last week]," Diaz said. "Our only words were if
he is still in this area, it's in the water somewhere."

For days, his family and the community hoped to find him alive near Brickyard Ponds. Now, investigators are searching that same place for his body.

Friday, May 25, 2018
(News 12 at 11)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Andrew Cato IV was last seen on May 5th and now, two people are behind bars accused of murder.

New tonight, investigators say they got a full confession, which led to these arrests. They also got a better idea of where to find Drew Cato's body with the cooperation of the arrested.

Crews spent today searching Brickyard Pond, off Doug Barnard Parkway for the missing father of two. Family members, as you can imagine, are dealing with a lot of emotions tonight. From anger, to sadness, and confusion.

"I can't even wrap my head around it right now," Wendy Cato said.

Wendy Cato, in disbelif with two people charged in the disapperance and death of her stepson Andrew Cato.

"Were just completely surprised," Wendy said. "We didn't think anything in our wildest dreams would happen like this."

The mother of his toddler, 23-year-old Blaeke Wolfe, along with a 23-year-old man sit behind bars charged with Andrew's murder. Wolfe posted a number of times on Facebook about finding Drew alive -- writing, "...please come home alive."

Investigators say one of Blaeke's childhood friends, 23-year-old Devin Stringfield pulled the trigger, hitting Andrew twice.

"I'm sorry. I just can't. There's just so many emotions," Wendy said.

A family left with an outcome they never saw coming. Now they step into a new role, taking temporary custody of Andrew's 2-year-old son.

"This is the last piece of Drew we have," Wendy said.

Drew's son and his 8-year-old daughter, now left with no dad.

"Drew was an excellent father," Wendy said. "He strived to see his kids all the time."

Wendy says the hardest part is that his daughter understands what happened.

"It's really difficult because she's older and she knows what's going on."

Now investigators search for the last piece of the puzzle, the body. And his family waits for justice.

An investigator on the case says the search is not over. Search crews will be out there again tomorrow, concentrating on that same area at Brickyard Pond.

Investigators are not giving a motive. Blaeke admitted on her Facebook page that Drew and her didn't always get along. Family believe this could have something to do with custody of their son.

Friday, May 25, 2018
News 12 @ 6 O'clock / NBC 26 at 7

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Investigators believe they know who is responsible for killing Andrew Cato IV.

Investigators were out searching swampy areas along Brickyard Pond for the father of two on Friday.

"We’re just completely surprised. We didn't think anything in our wildest dreams happened like this,” said Wendy Cato, Andrew’s step-mom.

New charges detailed in an arrest warrant reveal he was shot two times.
23-year-old Devin Stringfield is accused of shooting Cato in the chest with an unknown model 9mm handgun.

The mother of Cato’s toddler, Blaeke Wolfe, is also accused of causing the death of Cato with “malice aforethought.”

"I can’t even wrap my head around it right now,” said Wendy Cato.

His family is temporarily taking custody of his two-year-old son according to his stepmom Wendy Cato.

"This is the last piece of Drew we have at this point,” said Cato.

Cato says their family is hoping for justice and comfort for the two children he leaves behind.

"Yes, that's the worst part. Bring him home so that we can have closure and peace and deal with it in our own way,” said Cato.

Friday, May 25, 2018
11:50 am

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A man and woman have been arrested and charged in the disappearance and death of missing Augusta man, Andrew Cato IV.

Cato has been missing since May 6th. Searches have been ongoing since then.

Thursday deputies with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office arrested 23-year-old Blaeke Wolfe and 23-year-old Devin Stringfield.

According to Drew's boss, he and Wolfe had a child together. Stringfield is a childhood friend of Wolfe's.

They are both being charged with murder and are being held at the Charles B. Webster Detention Center.

Stringfield also faces a charge of Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime.

Cato's body has not yet been found.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A rally will be held Thursday night for missing Augusta man, Andrew Cato IV.

Reverend Fryer will host the rally on Old Savannah Road, and he has invited more pastors to join in.

The rally will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Drew Cato was last seen on Saturday, May 5th. His car has since been found.

Friday, May 18, 2018
(News 12 NBC 26 News At 11)

UPDATE | 11:30 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Saturday marks the two-week mark since 29-year-old Andrew Cato went missing. Friends and family are keeping up their search efforts, but they say there hasn't been much luck over the past week.

They're looking for more resources from the sheriff's office and other groups, but now one local reverend says he wants to get more involved.

At this point the family is saying the more resources they get the better. For one pastor who was so involved in the search for Janell Carwell, he says they want to step in and help bring Drew home.

Reverend Larry Fryer feels like it's deja-vu. Just months after the year-long search for Janell Carwell ends, another family is going through their own turmoil with a missing person's case.

"Now, it'd be different if you knew but you don't know where they are. You don't know what has happened to them. You don't know if they're tied up or screaming for help or hoping that someone will rescue them," Reverend Fryer says. "The situation is worse for the person who they can't find."

But this reverend and other pastors across Augusta are not sitting this one out. Instead, they're setting up a rally between first and second avenue where they found the car Drew Cato was driving.

He says it's following the theme of "See Something, Say Something." It's planned for Tuesday, May 22 at 6:00 p.m. in that neighborhood.

"So we really want to get involved and help make a difference right now," Reverend Fryer says. "The time is now. It's time to do it, it's time to come together so that we can help this family."

He says lessons were learned after the Carwell search and he's determined to get more resources involved, especially the dozen or so churches along Gordon Highway.

"We have them in various areas to help us and we certainly get the churches to gather and come forward regardless of faith, regardless of race or whatever," Reverend Fryer says. "Certainly, we can put that together."

It's a community of faith he hopes to motivate into action.

"We're not only here for prayer because if you just pray and that's all you do, that's not enough," Reverend Fryer says. "You need to also fall into action because prayer is action."

The reward money set up by Cato's family and friends sits around $4,800 as of Friday, May 18. Stay with News 12 NBC 26 as this story develops.

Thursday, May 17, 2018
News 12 @ 6 O'clock / NBC 26 at 7

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Rain or shine, Ravonna Ciback, is not giving up the hope of finding her son.

"The rain has really hampered our search efforts, so what we're trying to do is making sure we hit everywhere with these fliers to let people know that we're still missing him. He is still not home."

But she says there's now a new team from the Sheriff's Office leading this investigation, the homicide, and violent crimes team.

"It scared me to death immediately because I don't want it to confirm that somebody's killed, my child. The longer this goes on, the easier it is for your imagination to take over and imagine all the horrible things that could've happened," said Ciback.

Thankfully, she says investigators told them that's just in the name and THIS MEANS more manpower will help out.

"They said that that doesn't mean anything necessarily bad, just that it's in their division."

CASHIER: This was about that Ford Focus?

RC: We found the car, we just haven't found him.

CASHIER: I know, it was behind my sister's house.

RC: "Oh my God..."

For now, they're covering more ground with more support than ever.

"The one thing they told me that they did tell me was a missing person's case never closes. So I know for us it will never close and I know we will never stop. To know they will never stop either kind of makes me feel a little bit better like somebody's on my side."

Their search teams are down in numbers compared to this past weekend but if you want to help--keep checking our website. As soon as they figure out the meetup point for the next search, we'll update you.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
(News 12 NBC 26 News At 11)

UPDATE | 11:45 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A community is desperate for answers as Andrew Cato is still missing, while the family is still wondering what more they can do.

The family says they are heartbroken as they've looked for the young man they call Drew almost non-stop for the last week and a half. Now they've raised up a reward of $3,300 for any new information, but Wednesday night is about remembering his birthday.

Drew's father says birthday nights are normally saved for cake and ice cream and nobody loved those times more than Drew himself. Instead, they faced an emotional night filled with tears and hugs as they approach the two-week mark since they last saw him.

"We wanted to do something to just remember him on his birthday," Andy Cato says to the crowd inside First Christian Church. "Like I said, we're not celebrating. By no means are we celebrating."

It was supposed to be a night saved for making birthday memories, but friends and family are remembering their time with now 29-year-old Andrew Cato. Andy, Drew's father, says they're still holding onto hope thanks to those with them inside the sanctuary.

"These searchers who have spent their time out there looking for him are family," Cato says. "The people that you saw in this room tonight are family."

But he says the long days and the uncertainty are taking a toll on everyone.

"One of the things you remember is the last time you saw Drew and you play it over in your mind like it's a movie," Cato says. "Was there something I missed? Was there something I could've done that could've prevented all this? Did I miss some signs somewhere? Was there something that I missed?"

Those missing pieces are why they've raised $3,300 as a reward for anyone who brings new information to this case. They have a goal of raising $5,000 with the hopes it will be enough for someone to come forward.

"We're looking for somebody that can tie another person to Drew, tie a vehicle to Drew, tie a cell phone to Drew," Cato says, "anything or any information that we can tie something to where Drew might be located."

A somber night for friends and family that's now giving new energy in their search.

"Keep this fresh in the community, keep this on people's minds," Drew's brother prays, "and understand that we will not quit and we will not stop until we find him and we bring him home."

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The family of missing Augusta man, Andrew Cato IV, will host a vigil Wednesday night in honor of Drew's birthday.

The family is asking for the public to attend, but not to bring balloons or candles. They want to keep the message positive until their loved one is brought home.

Anyone who wants to participate can go to First Christian Church (629 Greene Street) Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.

Cato has been missing since May 6th.

Saturday, May 12, 2018
(News 12 at 6 o'clock)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Andrew Cato went missing on May 5, but Saturday was the fourth day of a community search. People showed up in the dozens.

"It's mother's day," cried Ravonna Cibak. "Yes, I have three children but one of them is missing. One of my children is gone."

Andrew Cato is no child, but he is her boy. And nearly one week later and boots to the ground, she's still searching for answers.

"Somebody knows something and we are scared to death. We are just begging everybody to keep looking."

Larry Diaz is still looking. He's Andrew's boss but also a friend. Diaz came out before the sun, with plans to keep looking through the woods even after the sun.

"We're getting a little wore out, getting a little burnt out. Its been a long few days. It's very hot." But he added, "I don't think anybody's giving up on finding him."

Dozens of people comb through bushes, dirt and trees, at least for some sign in the area where his phone last pinged.

His mom explained, "All I know how to do is get out and walk..to get out and look, and that's what we're doing now."

But they're also being strategic. People had to check in and give their name, phone number, and a location they planned to look.

Leaders were able to keep a record of all the day's searches.

"I hope we find him healthy and whole and we can tell everybody 'thank you,' and it was a good search and it was successful."

The success today was not in the outcome of today, but instead the turnout.

"Now tomorrow, I don't know what the plans are but I do know that if nothing else, I'm going to be out here."

The family has started a Gofundme, in hopes that offering a reward will bring out new information. Here is a link: https://www.gofundme.com/help-us-bring-drew-home-fundreward

Friday, May 11, 2018
(News 12 at 6 O’Clock)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – Friday might be the last time we see a search crew out at Brickyard Pond as 28-year-old Andrew Cato remains missing.

Andrew’s family says they found new clues in the car he was travewling in last night, and they hope they are now on the right track to finding him.

“We are frantically searching now. We are, I guess, more motivated and determined than ever. We've got to find him."

Time is not on the side of Andrew’s mother Ravonna Cibak and those searching for Andrew Cato the fourth. The good news remains that they're not searching alone.

"I would be searching up and down the road myself, but the fact that these people are caring about our family, they are feeling our pain as well and are coming and searching is just amazing," said Cibak.

A big break in the case Thursday after investigators found the missing car belonging to his sister. She got the chance to see it last night with new clues they're using to try and pinpoint where Andrew could be.

"They found fishing line tangled up, they found red dirt, red clay. That car, I know, was spotless because my son and myself went and detailed it for my daughter. There's no place that he needed to be that would have that kind of dirt," said Cibak.

Andrew's boss Larry Diaz says the search is that much harder as they shift from spots near water to the thick woods off Doug Barnard.

"We found the car, which makes a little bit worse because now that he's not with the car it doesn't look as good. We were very hopeful, but we're still hoping," said Diaz.

Saturday's search area now being staged off Dan Bowles Road near the old Jenkins Head Start School. As the time marches on, so does their search.

Diaz says they’ve got to stay busy.

"We've spent all our time either at work or out here on the ground. As long as you stay busy, it's not as bad as when you're just sitting around thinking about it."

Thursday, May 10, 2018
News 12 at 11

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A missing Augusta man, still nowhere to be found. But, tonight investigators found a huge piece of evidence in this case. It was Andrew Cato's car.

Andrew Cato the IV was last seen in a 2011 Ford Focus. The car was found earlier tonight around 1st and 2nd Avenue in Augusta.

His phone last pinged off of Doug Barnard Parkway near the trees, before it died Monday morning. Search parties have been looking around there and the Phinizy Swamp area.

It's been an emotionally exhausting day for this family, and at this point they are trying not to think too much about the possibilities. They’ve been remaining hopeful.

"Of all, we just want our son home,” said Andrew’s dad, Andy Cato.

His mother says they aren’t going to stop searching until he’s back in their arms.

"We don't have him yet. We haven't gotten him yet and we're not ever going to give up,” Ravonna Cibak said.

A family holding on tight to hope. They tell me deputies found the 2011 Ford Focus, Andrew Cato was last seen in, in an alley just off 1st and 2nd avenue. Andrew's sister, Alaina is taking it as a glimmer of hope.

"Hope is the best way to explain it,” Alaina said. “That there is still a chance that we're going to get some answers and that's what we want. We want answers."

But, in the wake of one answer, a lot of big questions still linger for the Cato's. They say it doesn't make sense why the car was in that part of town.

"He doesn't know anybody over there,” Curtis said. “Most of his friends and most of his family are on the south side of Augusta, so for that car to be over there, it shouldn't be there.”

Curtis Cato is Andrew's brother. A few days ago Curtis flew back from Afghanistan. Instead of a hero’s welcome, he was greeted with this gut wrenching news.

"It's not the best welcoming home you can have,” Curtis said. “However, I have to maintain positivity. We will find him one way or the other."

Tomorrow they are regrouping to make a plan for a Saturday search.

"We are going to grid off an area around where the last ping of his phone was,” Andy said. “We are going to grid off that area and we'll make up teams and we're going to go in and search those areas very thoroughly."

This family says the community support has been overwhelming. Even people that didn't know Andrew were showing up to help.

On Saturday, they are trying to set up at the abandoned school yard off of Dan Bowles Road called Claire Jenkins Head Start. They'll be getting started around 7 in the morning and are asking for all the help they can get.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The Richmond County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that the car Andrew Cato IV was last seen in has been found.

The 2011 Ford Focus was found Thursday evening around 1st and 2nd Avenue in Augusta.

The car was unoccupied.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Andrew Cato, the Fourth, has now been missing for five days, and Thursday marked the second day of searching the Phinizy Swamp area.

Kristopher Amerson has joined in on the search efforts. Amerson’s brother Jonathan went missing in that area in November. His body was found a few days later.

“I know if means the world. My mother probably would have had a mental breakdown if it wasn’t for the outreach from the local community,” said Amerson.

“Words really can’t describe how much it means to know that you’ve got people that you’ve never met before who’re willing to come out and help in a time of need.”

Andrew’s friend Devin Hodson tells News 12 the search is ramping up even more around places like Winter Road and Phinizy Swamp.

“We’re going to get more mobilized today (Thursday). We’re looking at more four-wheelers, side-by-sides. We have walked tens of miles in three days now,” said Hodson.

Not only have their boots been on the ground, but drones have been flying over to assist in the search.

Operator Phillip Donohue captured footage looking for anything that might seem out of the ordinary, but Devin says it’s like finding a needle in a haystack.

“Come to find out, there's thousands in this area that we didn't see and didn't even know existed. Lots of bodies of water we didn't know were there. Maybe the drone picked up something that we couldn't see as far as a detail with Andrew or maybe it was just an area that we needed to check out."

Whether it’s Andrew’s friends from his workplace or complete strangers, this is one group that won’t stop until they bring Andrew home.

News 12 has been told that Andrew’s truck and cellphone also have yet to be recovered.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018
News 12 at 11

RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Through the trees off Doug Barnard Parkway friends search and as a mother waits, hoping for any sign of her son, 28-year-old Andrew Cato.

"I remember him coming in late Saturday night after working overtime with FireTech and his boss. I remember him coming in dirty and saying "I love you mom, I'm going to take a shower and then I'll be back in a little bit," said Ravonna Ciback, Andrew Cato’s Mother.

Nearly four days later and still no sign of his phone... the car... or Andrew himself.

"Thankfully the last contact I had with him was I love you and he hugged me and I hugged him back and that was the last time that I saw him," she said.

Before it died Monday morning... they say his phone last pinged around this area. That's what lead this search team to scour this stretch of Doug Barnard Parkway for any signs.

Ravonna says Andrew is paying child support for his two kids, loves his job and was saving up for a new car. She says he isn't the kind of person to simply vanish--- overnight.

"People need to know that he absolutely adores his kids. He's my rock, he's always there for me if I need him to do anything or to help with anything or just to have a conversation. He's a great friend, he's a hard worker, he tries his best to do right by people that don't necessarily always do right by him."

As the search wraps up for the night the only thing this mother can do is hope her son is still out there... alive.

"If you see anything, let somebody know so that we can bring him home."

This is all very much out of the ordinary for Andrew Cato. He didn't just have plans for the future-- his family tells me he had plans for the immediate future too.

His mom tells me he was supposed to meet with his sister to run an errand and hang out with his boss for a cookout this past Sunday. They say they'll have a group back out here tomorrow afternoon and a larger group search on Saturday.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is searching for Andrew Cato, the Fourth.

Cato was last seen on Saturday, May 5th driving a 2011 grey Ford Focus with Georgia tag NK6925.

If anyone has information on Cato's whereabouts, they are asked to contact the sheriff's office at (706) 821-1020.