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Sonar, dogs deployed to find man

Staff Written Front Page, News

By Patrick Yost

editor 

A 1989 Buick LeSabre belonging to a man reported missing in Henry County on Sept. 15 was found Thursday, Sept. 24 by a Morgan County Sheriff’s Office deputy on routine patrol near Playfair Park in downtown Rutledge. The deputy contacted Henry County authorities and informed them of the discovery of the vehicle.

That discovery led to a massive search for James Roland “Skeet” Walker, 69 on Monday, Sept. 28. According to Chief Deputy Keith Howard,  Morgan County investigators contacted the family of James Roland “Skeet” Walker, 69, in Henry County and began the search that included tracking and cadaver dogs from volunteers, a helicopter from the Georgia State Patrol, a Department of Natural Resources underwater sonar device and members  of the Morgan County Fire Department and volunteers from various fire departments.

Volunteers and officers combed wooded areas around the park including utilizing the sonar device in the pond behind the park. Howard said deputies found an area behind the park near the pond where someone had tried to start a fire and had left a blanket that they believe belong to Walker. They also found an individually wrapped pastry that matched an opened box of pastries found in Walker’s vehicle.

Howard said Morgan County authorities searched the area from approximately noon to 8:30 p.m. Howard said Henry County authorities told Morgan County deputies that Walker had been reported missing in the past. Walker, Howard said, lived in the Rutledge area approximately 10 years ago.

Morgan County officials are asking people who live in the Rutledge area to examine places on their property where a person could go to seek shelter, including under boat tarps, dog kennels or “anywhere a person could seek shelter from the weather.”

Anyone with any information regarding Walker should call Lt. Brandon Sellers, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division, at 706 342 1507.

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