I am on your side regarding the first sentence, though "在" is often omitted in casual conversation.
In general, the word "在" should be included in the answer to the question that asks the "whereabouts" of a person, or some item.
Q: 小明在那儿怎麼還不來? - Why 小明 haven't arrived yet, where is he?
The classic/standard/proper answer should be:
A: 他在公司有事儿(被絆住了). - He is tangled with something in the company/office.
However, "在" is often omitted in casual conservations:
A: 他公司有事儿(被絆住了). - He is tangled with something of his company.
Strictly speaking, these two answers mean slightly different, as the first means "he has something in the company to deal with so he is late", and the second means "his company has something that causes him to be late".