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‘My Son…Saw Something, Heard Something and Didn’t Want to be a Part of It’: Family of a Black Filmmaker Missing Since 2018 In Idaho Wilderness Still Seeks Answers

“It’s hard, I don’t wish this upon anyone,” said Terrence Woods Sr. who still struggles to cope with the disappearance of his son.

This year marks four years since Terrence Woods Sr. of Maryland, last saw his son, Terrence Woods Jr., who was 27 at the time. Woods says despite all the time that has passed, many questions he has had since the day his son went missing still remain unanswered.

“All these reckless stories,” Woods says referring to a slew of theories that exist behind his son’s mysterious disappearance.

“They stated he went to grab a drone out of the sky,” Woods said of one theory. “He says he’s going to use to bathroom and leaps off a cliff,” and “if he had a mental breakdown, how do you say he doesn’t want to be found,” Woods continued of the theories he has heard over the years.

Terrence Woods Jr. worked as a film producer and at the time of his disappearance, he was working on the Discovery show, ‘Gold Rush’ with London-based production company, Raw TV. The film crew of 12 men, all white except for Woods according to Woods’ father, were filming in the Nez Perce National Forest in Orogrande, Idaho. The forest is in northern Idaho and spans about 4 million acres. The forest is a rugged mountainous terrain which include rivers and wildlife, including bears and wolves.

Woods says so far, he has not received much help or have been given solid answers to what happened from Raw TV or any of its film crew working alongside his son when he disappeared on Oct. 5, 2018.

“On the Fourth, they say they had dinner that night, he allegedly met a young lady, exchanged numbers and everything was just fine allegedly, then the very next morning, he had an anxiety attack,” said Woods.

Witnesses said that day Woods threw down his radio and, as described by Deadline, “ran down the side of a steep cliff before disappearing into a forest.”

Although sheriff deputies notified Woods Sr. of his son’s disappearance a day after it was reported, Woods says Raw TV producer, Simon Gee, spoke to him days after his son went missing in 2018, and after learning of tension between Gee and Woods Jr., that is when he grew suspicious foul play could be in the works. Woods describes Gee as initially being excited to work with his son until he realized he was Black.

“Recommendations from people, excellent but when you met him, you were saying when you see his color,” Woods said. “The only person that was there was the person Simon Gee, one of the producers, they told me he and my son didn’t get along, the sheriff told me that,” Woods continued.

The Idaho County Sheriff’s Office, the agency tasked with investigating Woods’ disappearance, said in a statement on Oct. 11, 2018, they initiated a comprehensive search of the forest on the ground, along the rivers and by helicopter looking for Terrence Woods Jr., but found no signs of him.

Woods says, he has not had any luck with gathering more details from deputies over the years. Atlanta Black Star reached out to the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office for an update on the investigation and was directed to its records department, but have not received additional information to where the investigation stands. Atlanta Black Star also contacted the FBI to see if the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office requested federal help, but a spokesperson for the FBI says, the Sheriff’s Office has not requested their help on the case.

“Can you show me the tape or footage of him entering the hotel or leaving? That’s the first thing the sheriff or police officer would do, let me see the footage. If it were a crime committed by him, I bet they would have seen the footage,” a frustrated Woods said of the investigation into his son’s disappearance.

On an episode of Dr. Phil in 2020, the sheriff at the time, Doug Giddings, said the film crew reported Woods missing and he seemed to buy into the theory Woods wandered off into the wilderness on his own after it became evident, he wanted to leave the production, however, he did not suspect foul play from the film crew.

“We haven’t ruled out that something bad happened, but as far as foul play, there is no evidence of foul play,” former Idaho County Sheriff, Doug Giddings said of the investigation.

Atlanta Black Star reached out to Raw TV for answers and company spokeswoman said in a statement, “Terrence was a popular figure at Raw; he was a well-liked and valued member of the production team and his disappearance has deeply affected us all.  Terrence went missing in a remote, densely wooded and mountainous area in Idaho that was particularly challenging to search.  From the outset our location team was actively involved in the search for Terrence and we put a great deal of effort and resource into trying to locate him. We have the deepest sympathy for Terrence’s family and friends. It is truly heart breaking that Terrence has not been found, and we continue to hope that he will be.”

Woods doubts Raw TV’s sincerity behind the production company’s efforts to locate his son. “Raw TV, multimillion dollar company which owns Discovery, yesterday was four years. My son disappeared at work, they didn’t call and say, we knocked on his hotel door this morning, and he was gone, that’s not what you told me, you said he was in front of twelve other people,” Woods said.

Woods says when he retrieved his son’s suitcase, he noticed everything inside was pristine except for muddy boots, raising more questions about his used garments and belongings. “In his suitcase, everything is neatly folded up, his underwear still has tape on it, socks, the only thing in his whole bag was a muddy pair of shoes, with mud all over them,” Woods said.

Perhaps the most frustrating part to the predicament Woods finds himself in, is the endless cycle of no clear answers from the parties involved as to what happened to his son.

“I’m trying my best to get a team who can help me get the answers because yesterday made four years, and we’re still at day one. I’ve dealt with private investigators, I’ve been on Dr. Phil, radio shows, I’ve had lawyers, and everyone says we’re going to take the case, we see right through it then I don’t hear from anyone,” said Woods.

Over the years, Woods has developed his own theory behind his son’s disappearance, and it points back to the Raw TV film crew he was working with. “I think my son, Terrence, saw something, heard something and didn’t want to be a part of it and when he created the story that he had to leave, unfortunately, that wasn’t going to be possible,” Woods said.

Atlanta Black Star will continue following this story as it develops.

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