Officials look for man who has been missing since October

Published 2:03 pm Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sheriff’s officials went fishing for a truck Friday but found only logs.

Officials from the Adams County Sheriff’s Office worked with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Friday to search for a truck belonging to 74-year-old Franklin County resident Juil Matthews, who has been missing since October.

Members of the Adams County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team used a hook and a strong magnet to search for Matthews’ truck in Robbins Lake.

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Although he lived in Franklin County, Matthews frequently drove to visit his wife, who lived near the lake, Franklin County Sheriff James Newman said.

He said he wanted to make sure Matthews hadn’t driven off into the lake. Newman said he didn’t expect to find the truck, but he wanted to rule out the possibility.

“We’re covering every possibility,” Newman said. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s something to eliminate.”

Newman said his office, along with Adams County Sheriff Ronny Brown’s, has been searching for Matthews since he went missing.

They’ve searched from the air and on the ground, Brown said. The only thing left is to search wooded areas on all terrain vehicles, which is on this week’s agenda, he said.

“I’ve got a 74-year-old man and his truck that completely vanished,” Newman said. “If this guy’s dead, he needs a dignified burial.”

The FCSO is asking anyone with information on Matthews, who goes by J.L., or his red 1989 Mazda pickup truck to call them or ACSO.

Matthews’ wife, Patricia Magee, said she thought law enforcement officers were taking the necessary steps.

“I feel they’re doing everything they can,” Magee said. “I really do.”

Magee said she has tried to publicize the situation through posters and e-mail.

“I’ve sent stuff through the mail to America’s Most Wanted, and I’ve sent stuff to Jackson to try to get on the news up there,” she said. “I’m doing everything I can. I don’t know what else to do.”

Magee recently moved from her Adams County home to Vidalia to be with family, she said. She still owns her house in Adams County, but she wanted to take care of her children, who go to school in Vidalia.

She said she has hope her husband is still alive and will be found.

“My gut feeling says he is (alive), and I pray to God he is,” she said. “You hear this all over, but when it hits home, it’s a total shock. You don’t know what to do.”