WADLEY, Ga. (WJBF) — Frank Johnson often walked from his home in Wadley to the city’s downtown area. His family believes he took this same route on January 20. The 78-year-old’s stepdaughter, Daisy McGee, reported him missing that Wednesday afternoon when he did not return home.
The Wadley Police Department immediately began a massive search effort. They scoured the town and requested help from the Burke County Sheriff’s Office. Officers and members of the community held a city-wide search effort over the weekend drawing a crowd of about 40 volunteers who searched for Johnson on foot and with a helicopter. Yet, they found no sign of him.
“We’ve had a few leads,” Capt. Paul Jordan of the Wadley Police Department explains. “So far, we’ve come up empty handed. We’re following all leads and not turning any down.”
Investigators are now widening their search to Atlanta and Cartersville where Johnson has family. They are also questioning his close family and friends.
Johnson suffers from dementia and diabetes. McGee says he falls often and has trouble with his vision. She worries her stepfather’s health could be in jeopardy if he does not have his medication with him.
“I wish someone finds him,” she says. “I miss him. I love him.”
Wadley Police Chief Tommie Walker tells NewsChannel 6 the investigation is at a “stand still,” but he vows to continue searching for Johnson until they “can’t find anything else” and “run out of options.” The investigation is hitting close to home for Walker, who views each person in the community as his “own relative.”
“As a leader of the police department, it’s very important to me that the guys [officers] get home safely, that the citizens are safe and that everything is working accordingly,” he explains.
Anyone with information on Johnson’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Wadley Police Department at (478) 252-9401.