Authorities asking for assistance in locating missing man

March 25, 2017
Justin Johnson

Justin Johnson

Authorities are asking for assistance in locating a Vanceburg man who has reportedly been missing since Thursday evening.

Sheriff Johnny Bivens said Justin Johnson, 28, was last seen about 8:00 p.m. Thursday at his home on Town Branch in Vanceburg.

He said Johnson’s red Chevrolet S-10 pick-up was found on Lower Twin Branch off McDowell Creek Road, south of Garrison, about 7:30 a.m. Friday.

Bivens said his office was notified late Friday by concerned family members after Johnson failed to return home when he said he would.

Johnson is 6’2″ tall, 145 pounds with a slender build. He has short brown hair and hadn’t shaved for a few days.

He was last seen wearing a black tee-shirt, light blue jeans, dark brown work boots, a camo cap and had a black jacket with him.

Lewis County Emergency Management Director George Sparks said the search for Johnson began Friday night and resumed Saturday morning with several volunteers searching in the area where the truck was found.

A K9 team with Rough Terrain Search and Rescue on McDowell Creek in search for missing Vanceburg man. - Dennis Brown Photo

A K9 team with Rough Terrain Search and Rescue on McDowell Creek in search for missing Vanceburg man. – Dennis Brown Photo

Sparks said officials with Buffalo Trace Search and Rescue, and a K9 team with Rough Terrain Rescue joined with local officials, firefighters, and other volunteers to look for Johnson in the area.

Sparks said the search was suspended Saturday evening but would continue on Sunday.

“We will continue our search to locate Mr. Johnson,” Sparks said. “We are expanding our efforts to investigate his disappearance and are following all leads.”

Bivens said he and his deputies have been thoroughly investigating Johnson’s disappearance and would continue to follow all leads and tips.

“We are developing information that we have received that will hopefully lead us to Mr. Johnson’s whereabouts,” Bivens said. “Anyone who may have seen on spoken with Mr. Johnson anytime Thursday is asked to contact us. Any information we receive, no matter how insignificant it may seem, is important.”

Bivens also urges anyone who may have seen Johnson since Thursday, or area residents who may have noticed something out of the ordinary overnight Thursday, to contact his office.

Lewis County Judge Executive Todd Ruckel spent much of the day Saturday with volunteers and search parties.

Several volunteers, family members, and search crews on Saturday afternoon where missing Vanceburg man's truck was found. (The red pick-up is visible at the base of the hill on a gas pipeline right-of-way.) - Dennis Brown Photo

Several volunteers, family members, and search crews on Saturday afternoon where missing Vanceburg man’s truck was found. (The red pick-up is visible at the base of the hill on a gas pipeline right-of-way.) – Dennis Brown Photo

“I want to commend our local officials, firefighters, volunteers and residents for their efforts in helping with this effort,” Ruckel said.

“I also want to thank the volunteer search teams who have traveled here to lend their expertise, experience and knowledge in helping to locate Justin,” he added.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and for a favorable outcome to our efforts,” Ruckel said.

Anyone who may have any information concerning Johnson’s whereabouts is urged to call the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office at 606-796-2912.

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