Missing man found dead
Published 3:11 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2016
A Bethel Community man missing since Friday was found dead after a nearly three-hour manhunt Tuesday.
Richard Fuqua, 74, was last seen in Brewton on Friday sometime around 9 a.m. When he didn’t report for church Sunday, his family began to worry.
Around lunch Tuesday, volunteers and first responders gathered at a farm on Yellow Creek Road.
Chief Deputy Mike Lambert, Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies and volunteers with Appleton and Dixonville volunteer fire departments armed with radios and ATVs waited as K-9 units from Atmore finished clearing the area around Fuqua’s home at 1:30 p.m. Just before 2 p.m., volunteers began searching the cotton filed surrounding the property.
“We knew ‘Mr. Richard,’ as he’s known, was last seen in Brewton Friday morning,” Lambert said. “His car was found abandoned. We assumed he arrived back home at an unknown time, but because of the rain, there are no footprints or any identifying markers around the area.”
Marissa Whitt, Fuqua’s neighbor, said she and her husband would sometimes take Fuqua food.
“He lived over there, all by himself with his dogs,” Whitt said. “I know the dogs were at his house, and those dogs rode with him everywhere.”
Fuqua’s sister and niece were on hand for the search.
“We just ask that everyone prays, pray that we can find him,” they said.
That prayer was answered just after 3 p.m. when volunteers found Fuqua a short distance in a wood area near the effort’s command post.
While a cause of death is not immediately known, emergency personnel said extreme heat could have played a role in Fuqua’s death.