I understand from a family member that Mr. Pane was within a few hundred feet from his home when he was found two weeks after wondering away from his home.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Missing Lacey's Spring Man Found Dead
This picture was taken New Years Day January 2014 on a horse trail in Colbert county. It shows Sheriff Franklin and Special Deputy Larry Berzett and members of her posse on a horse ride. While riding the sheriff had to leave and go to Lacey Springs to a crime scene where a family member had found a missing elderly family member. The missing man was found in a dry creek bed not far behind his house. The Sheriff claims that the horse ride in Colbert County was a "search and rescue training mission."
What is sad about all of this is that an elderly man had been missing in Sheriff Franklin's county for over a month, and she suspended search operations at least twice, this being one of those times. Would it have not made more sense to do a search and rescue training mission in your own county while you actually had a missing person?
Did this ride in Colbert county start out as a pleasure ride and turn into a "training mission" only after the elderly gentleman was located by a family member? You decide.
This debacle of a search for the elderly man flew under the radar of our local press just as did this picture. It is sad that he was found not too far from his residence in a dry creek bed by a family member on a day when the Sheriff chose to go out of county to do an alleged training mission. Why would you have to go out of county for that? Because it is on one of the most beautiful horse trails in Alabama is why! If it smells bad, it is bad.
LACEY'S SPRING, Ala. (WHNT) - Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin confirms that the body found in a dry creek bed near Dry Creek Cove Road belongs to 74-year-old Franklin Payne, missing since early December.
Franklin said that an autopsy will need to be performed on the body, but she feels confident that the body is Payne's.
Family members say not knowing here Payne had gone was "heartbreaking." Three days after Payne was last seen his two small dogs came back to the home. His body was found in an area where search crews patrolled from the air with a helicopter and on the ground with dogs but were not able to locate the missing man. Sheriff Franklin says two hikers discovered the body Wednesday afternoon and called authorities to the scene.
Sheriff investigators used horses and ATVs to get to the exact location where the body was found. She said the body was in a dry creek bed.
Franklin Payne, 74, went missing from his home on Pinehill Circle in Lacey's Spring 22 days ago. Payne, who was diagnosed with dementia, lived close to family members who were caring for him.
The Sheriff’s Office received some tips and possible sightings, but none led them to finding Payne.
Several agencies helped in the initial search in Lacey’s Spring, including the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Lacey’s Spring Volunteer Fire Department and the Morgan County Rescue Squad.
So sad this ended this way. Sheriff Franklin dropped the ball on this one. Instead of worrying about the “mobile command unit” being out on the side of hwy 36 where everyone would see it (because its campaign season) she should have been set up closer to his home. He didn’t wander off all that far. Had she been more concerned with finding him and less concerned with her getting media coverage, could have been a completely different ending. And the bullcrap she spewed about her and her posse being on a training mission over new years was another complete lie. They were at Rock Bridge Canyon equestrian park ringing in the new year. They weren’t searching for anything but the bottom of a beercan or wine bottle. You can call over there and ask those in attendance at the park, we were all aware of that group. She just wanted an excuse for being out of county again when something major happened. And I guess she needed an excuse for pulling up with a horse trailer at the scene. I hope this county finally sees her for what she really is. And I wish WHNT would start actually doing some stories about what is happening at the sheriffs office, not keep letting her spoonfeed them their stories about her. Prayers for Mr. Paynes family.
Sad! I was hoping one of the dogs would go back to his residence to get someone to follow him and take them to where he was located. I know at one time the group looking for him tracked the dogs to the side of the highway. They seemed to think he may have gotten a ride. May he Rest in peace!
So, so, sad that Morgan County Sheriff Franklin is “fudging” the truth. Snoop around and you will find out the truth.
JANUARY 8, 2014 AT 2:42 PM
LACEY'S SPRING, Alabama - An aerial search that did not detect a human form and a scent picked up by dogs that stopped at the edge of a highway led authorities to believe a missing elderly man may have gotten into a car and left the area.
Morgan County Sheriff's investigators installed a mobile command center in the parking lot of the Georgia Lynn Dunn Community Center on Alabama Highway 36 Tuesday morning after a family reported 74-year-old Franklin Payne missing.
Payne was last seen at 1 a.m. Tuesday when he took his medication. His family says he has dementia.
When family members checked on Payne at 6 a.m., he was gone from their mobile home on Pinehill Circle.
Payne is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs about 175 pounds. He has white hair and blue eyes. He was believed to be wearing black pants, a black jacket, a dark-colored T-shirt with black shoes. He is from Huntsville, Texas, and often talked of "going home," according to Sheriff Ana Franklin.
He took his two Shih Tzus dogs with him, one white and the other a light smoky color, Franklin said. Payne would not abandon the dogs, according to his family.
"He's going to be with those dogs," the sheriff said.
Officers have been searching the immediate area in patrol cars and using search dogs from the K-9 unit. The area around the home is rural and heavily wooded.
Capt. Ron Livingtson with the Sheriff's Office said officers have patrolled non-stop since Payne was reported missing and investigators stayed at the command post overnight Tuesday. Tracking dogs caught Payne's scent and followed it to the edge of Highway 36.
"It's like he disappeared," Livingtson said. "That leads us to believe somebody probably picked him up."
However, Franklin said authorities continue to search the local area to "make sure we're not missing anything."
As night fell Tuesday, with temperatures expected to dip into the low 20s, authorities used a helicopter with heat-detecting equipment in an effort to locate Payne, Livingtson said. The helicopter picked up too many hot spots during daylight hours and tried again after nightfall, but had no luck, Livingston said.
The helicopter was forced to land as ice began to form on its rotors in the below-freezing temperatures.
Franklin said investigators have issued alerts at homeless shelters, truck stops and hospitals.
"Somebody may have picked him up, not realizing he needed more help than just a ride," the sheriff said. Dementia patients are often physically healthy and Payne "had a pretty good jump on us," she said.
"They really don't know they're lost and people may offer to help them. We're hoping someone offered him a ride and he's at a shelter somewhere."