Search for missing man is called off

James HowellStaff

October 25, 2012

The search for a missing person was officially called off on Tuesday by the N.C. Parks Service after serveral unsuccessful days of searching.

Ronnie Douglas Sutton Jr, 48 of Asheboro, went missing on Sunday, Oct. 14, after leaving his sister’s house. When Sutton didn’t contact anyone afterward, his family reported he was missing on Thursday, Oct. 18.

“Up to this point, we haven’t found any clues leading to his (Sutton’s) whereabouts,” said Capt. Ricky Roark of the Ashe County Rescue Squad.

The Ashe County Rescue Squad became involved when Sutton’s Nissan pickup truck was spotted at the overlook at Sheet’s Gap.

The Rescue Squad and formed a perimeter search of the area. When no evidence was found he had been in the area, surrounding fire departments, including Laural Springs, Glendale Springs , Wilbar, Jefferson and Moravian Falls fire departments were called in to help search.

The search party Saturday covered between 150 to 200 yards before the end of the day.

The search continued Sunday morning when the rescue squad called in a pair of cadaver dogs from Caldwell County and a pair of bloodhounds, which didn’t pick up Sutton’s trail. In spite of a 50 person volunteer search party that conducted a grid search of the entire area, no evidence was discovered linking Sutton to the area.

The rescue squad also recruited divers to investigate the lakes in the surrounding area, and again, no evidence was found.

The search resumed on Monday with the same result. The parks service became more active in searching for Sutton.

On Tuesday, a helicopter flew over the area to search for Sutton, but couldn’t locate him.

With no evidence of Sutton’s location, Roark said it’s possible Sutton parked his truck at Sheet’s Gap to meet with someone and hasn’t returned.

According to Roark, Sutton is a six foot tall, white male with blue eyes and grey hair. Also, Sutton may have depressive symptoms. Any information about Sutton’s whereabouts should be reported to the local authorities, said Roark.