(CNN) -- It was supposed to be a big day for Kevin Quick. His youngest brother was turning 40 and, to celebrate, Kevin planned a big birthday bash -- hiring a DJ, hanging decorations, not to mention inviting friends and family to join in the fun.
But the host never showed up.
The Waynesboro, Virginia, auxiliary police captain's absence from that party Saturday spurred his loved ones to look for him. When they had no luck, they turned to law enforcement.
"When he never showed, that was when people could tell there was something really wrong." Sgt. Brian Edwards of the Waynesboro police department said. "Family was really important to him. He wouldn't just ditch out on the family."
Authorities found his silver 1999 Toyota 4Runner parked under a metal carport in Mineral, Virginia. That's in a rural area about 60 miles east of Afton, where Quick left his mother's home on Friday night for what was expected to be a short ride out to visit a friend. They have linked two men to Quick's car and released a photo of one of them in hopes the public can offer more clues.
Civic leaders have put up $22,500 in reward money for information leading to Quick, Edwards said. And given what they know about Quick, 45, and the case so far, the Virginia State Police have announced they suspect foul play.
"It was so truly out of character ... for him to just disappear like that," said Corinne Geller, a state police spokeswoman.
'Kevin is definitely a family man'
Quick's family is deeply rooted in Waynesboro, a city of about 21,000 residents along the edge of the Appalachian Mountains some 25 miles west of Charlottesville. The family also has strong ties to its police department. Kevin's late father joined Waynesboro police's reserve arm in 1983. His eldest son joined him in 1990, ascending the ranks over the subsequent years. (The middle brother, Glenn, is an officer with the U.S. Capitol police in Washington.)
Making up 15 of its 44 members, reserve members play a significant role in Waynesboro's police department, according to Edwards. Like full-timers, they hold ranks, have badges and carry firearms.
"Kevin and his family are institutions in the police auxiliary unit," Edwards said.
Quick worked in the reserves while working paying day jobs, including the past 15 years as a production coordinator for the synthetic fabrics company Invista. His position there was eliminated in what Edwards called an "amicable" separation.
Quick was given a severance package of an unknown amount, according to an affidavit released Tuesday. That money has not yet been accounted for.
Even without a full-time job, Quick kept busy, with his apparent focus being his family, as it had been for years.
The morning of Friday, January 31, he'd taken his mother -- with whom he was living in Afton -- out to breakfast at a local Cracker Barrel. That meal was the last time Quick's credit card was used, according to Edwards.
He'd also spent that day prepping for his brother's surprise birthday celebration, including getting the venue and music in order.
Quick had been legally separated from his wife since 2007, but their divorce was not final, Edwards said. He said another woman gave birth to Quick's daughter four months ago, and he was headed to their home in neighboring Albemarle County at the time he disappeared.
According to the affidavit, Quick texted his child's mother, saying he was on the way. His phone has been turned off since Friday night.
"Kevin is definitely a family man," Edwards said. "He is the eldest of three siblings, and he really took on the role of taking care of his mother (after his father died). ... He is a very dutiful son."
SUV tracked to 2 spots with unknown men
So when the party's 1 p.m. Saturday start time rolled around and there was no Kevin, his family suspected something was up.
At that point, they didn't know that -- after leaving his mother's house around 10:15 p.m. Friday -- he never made it to the home of his child's mother, some 20 miles away at an apartment complex in Charlottesville.
Authorities subsequently "traced every possible route that he could have taken" between those locations, according to Geller, as part of extensive air and ground searches. But they didn't find him.
They were able to track his Toyota, however, to at least two spots in Virginia. The first such match was late Friday in Fork Union, which is located about 30 miles southeast of Charlottesville. On Saturday -- around when Quick should have been at his brother's party -- the SUV was spotted about 90 miles north of Fork Union in Manassas, in Prince William County.
Photographs linked two men to Quick's vehicle. One image shows one of the men in a hooded sweatshirt covering much of his face.
Does he or the other man know where Quick is?
Authorities aren't sure, but they're hoping the public can help them track down the man in the photo they released so police can talk to him. As of Tuesday, police had not, though they had received at least 50 tips in the case.
Rural Virginia residents shaken by case
So what happened to Kevin Quick?
According to Edwards, authorities have already ruled out the possibility that he disappeared of his own accord.
Citing the ongoing investigation, Geller from the state police hasn't offered much detail or laid out possible scenarios.
She does say investigators have determined that the resident of Mineral who spotted Quick's Toyota shortly after 8 a.m. Monday -- parked at some point the previous night under a carport on his property, with no evident damage suggesting it had been in an accident -- has nothing to do with the case.
The whole ordeal has shaken many throughout rural western Virginia.
Chris Woodson says he's particularly unnerved by the idea that a law enforcement officer is missing.
"If the police can't even keep themselves safe, what are we supposed to do?" Woodson, who lives in Mineral, told CNN affiliate WTVR. "It makes me think that I'm going to have to lock my doors at night when I thought I lived in the country and I didn't have to do that."
The community has rallied around the Quick family, in person and online. In comments on the state police's Facebook page, numerous people offered their prayers, best wishes and laments for what the family is going through.
Said one: "I'm sick about this."
CNN's Carma Hassan contributed to this report.