Law enforcement officials and relatives of the 33-year-old man are speculating his whereabouts after he disappeared less than two months after being freed from jail on unrelated drug charges.
Townsend, left, is believed to have knowledge of an unsolved slaying in southeast Texas, leading his mother and his lawyer to say they think he may have met with foul play -- possibly to keep him from talking about the growing underground world of high-stakes dogfights.
His mother, Beverly Garrison Feutral, said he dropped out of sight after going to Acres Homes, a high-crime area of Houston, to "take care of some business and get some money that was owed to him." That business, Feutral and others say, may have involved a money transaction for pit bulls.
Police, on the other hand, believe he is alive and well -- possibly hiding in the thick woods of southeast Texas.
"He's alive," said Montgomery County Sheriff's Lt. Philip Cash. "It was his plan from the get-go that as soon as he got out of jail, he would" jump bail.
Local, state and federal investigators wanted to talk to Townsend about Thomas Weigner, a renowned dogfighter and breeder of pit bulls (like the one pictured above from the Star-Telegram archives).
Weigner was shot to death in August 2006.
Read more in this report by Staff Writer Jack Douglas Jr.