Lost man found dead
A three-day search for a longtime Brewton hunter from Pensacola, Fla., ended tragically Wednesday.
Daniel Eric Doelker, a 39-year-old member of the Condon Hunting Club near Mancil Rock Road, was last reportedly seen at a local establishment after midnight Saturday. He was found Wed., Nov. 26, in a ravine near Creamer Dozer on Hwy. 31, the victim of a car crash.
“It’s a horribly sad situation,” said Brewton Police Chief Monte McGougin, as the BPD is the investigating agency in the crash. “Right now, we can’t officially release a cause of death as the autopsy report is not completed.”
The search for Doelker was a multi-agency effort that culminated early Wednesday morning with an organized search involving sheriff’s deputies, BPD officers and more than 60 of Doelker’s family members and friends.
“He was a very well-respected man in Pensacola,” said Chief Deputy Mike Lambert of Doelker. “He was a Rotarian; an upstanding employee with a Pensacola construction company, and everyone said the behavior was completely out of character for him. He was scheduled to cook for the homeless on Monday, so we knew something wasn’t right.”
Lambert said Doelker was last seen by friends at the hunting camp on Sat., Nov. 24, and by Monday, still had not been seen. Family reported him missing to Pensacola authorities, who, in turn, contacted Escambia County authorities.
“Tuesday morning, deputies, police, air units and family members did a quick check of the area around the hunting camp and partially of roads between Brewton and the hunting camp,” Lambert said. “We checked phone and financial records and were able to trace him to O’Henry’s just before midnight on Saturday. After that, we got conflicting witness statements of his whereabouts that we were unable to confirm.”
Wednesday, the search resumed, Lambert said.
“Approximately 70 including law enforcement arrived to search, and we didn’t expect that kind of turnout,” he said. “We were able to come together to send out search parties to closer looks at areas of interest.
“What we have learned in the past is that our roads have ravines, and when you get to guard rail or body of water, you need to pay close attention,” he said. “A lot of times won’t see the culvert; it’s covered in vegetation. So, we had a party to go to Foshee Road area, thinking (Doelker) went across. They their were working way back in to town; saw the ravine at Creamers that fit a description, and pulled over. That’s when they found him.”
Currently, police are using accident mapping equipment to determine exactly what happened at the scene. Doelker was sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Science for an autopsy.
“It was an awesome effort by everyone involved,” Lambert said. “We just hate that it ended the way it did.”
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