Missing man found deceased after 10-day search
submitted by the PCSD
On September 20th, the Pickett County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a possible missing person. An investigation began immediately to locate William J. Johnson, 59, of Byrdstown.
The following day, Chief Deputy Steve Wilber located Mr. Johnson's vehicle at the Jim Wright Cemetery on the Pickett/Fentress County line. Fentress County Sheriff Tony Choate was notified to assist with contacting the family and coordinate a search of the area.
The Pickett County Sheriff's Office worked diligently to address all legitimate concerns and information brought forth regarding William Johnson. Sheriff Dowdy requested assistance from the District Attorney’s Office and the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Searches were conducted including grid searches by foot, helicopter and professional canine teams, however the helicopter and canine searches were unable to locate Mr. Johnson.
On September 30th, the body of William Johnson was recovered approximately 1.3 miles away from where the vehicle had been located 10 days prior. At this time the cause of death has not yet been determined.
Sheriff Dowdy stated, "I would like to thank the family of William Johnson and everyone that was involved in the search. We were fortunate to have such an overwhelming response from the community and family. When we have situations like this happen, it is my priority and the Sheriff’s Office priority to use all means necessary to bring closure to the family with the return of the family member under any circumstance. Once again I would like to thank everyone for all the information and help provided during this time of need."