By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
Search teams combing the wooded areas around KY 1804 in southern Whitley County Thursday found who they sought — the body of 62-year-old William “Dan” Oaks Sr. was located approximately 4 p.m.
According to Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell, no foul play is currently suspected in Oaks’ death.
“There were no marks, no scuffle — nothing physical,” Harrell said.
He explained that a witness came forward Thursday, saying he saw the victim along the road near the search area.
“He saw this guy on (January) the third,” Harrell said. “And that day, Deputy Kirk Mays checked out the report, but didn’t see anything.”
That same witness came to the scene Thursday and repeated that information to search crews.
Armed with that information, Chief Deputy Kenny “KY” Fuson, Emergency Management Director Jerry Rains and the witness went to the area to see the exact point where the victim may have been seen.
“(They) went to the location on a four-wheeler,” Harrell explained, adding Oaks was found very close to the Clear Fork River.
The sheriff said it appeared he “stumbled his way” through the area near the river — then sat down, smoked a cigarette — and died.
Harrell said the body will be sent for an autopsy and lab work.
Law enforcement and emergency personnel agencies converged at Saxton Independent Baptist Church Thursday morning to continue Wednesday’s ground search.
Oaks’ daughter Crystal Thomas reported him missing Wednesday, telling deputies she last saw her father at his 8051 U.S. 25 residence about 4:15 p.m. Jan. 2.
She also told deputies she had not seen nor heard from him since that day.
The sheriff’s office was joined by members of the Williamsburg Fire and Rescue Department, the South Whitley Volunteer Fire Department, Goldbug Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, the Woodbine Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, Pleasant View Volunteer Fire and Rescue, Emergency Management Director Danny Moses, Williamsburg Rescue Squad, and Whitley County EMS. Several of Oaks’ family members also assisted in the search, including one on horseback.
No foul play suspected in Oaks’ death
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