Extensive search for missing man conducted

Friday, September 2, 2011

At least two dozen people, most of them volunteers, searched a large part of the Berlin Community on Monday when they were looking for a man who was reported missing.

The area searched had a radius of about 1.5 miles, according to Marshall County Emergency Management Agency Director Bob Hopkins. He estimated there were 20 volunteers, many of whom donated use of their four-wheelers, fuel, time and energy for about eight hours.

The missing man, Thomas Johnson, 54, suffered a childhood illness that almost killed him when his brain was swollen, according to his brother, Carl Johnson, a dairy farmer with some 300 acres near Lewisburg's Ellington Airport.

"He was in a coma for two months," the brother said. Now, "He can be just as normal as anyone, but something snaps."

The search was across rough terrain "and probably went places they shouldn't have gone, like crevices, and snake-infested areas," Hopkins said, complimenting search crews.

At midday Tuesday, Sheriff Norman Dalton reported the search for Johnson revealed about 100 well-tended marijuana plants.

Johnson was still missing early Thursday afternoon.

"And we're still out looking," Dalton said.

Johnson is a 180-pound white man. He's been living on his brother's farm. He's six feet tall with brown eyes and brown hair.

He's reported to have left home early Monday morning, Dalton said. Dalton and Hopkins said the man was said to have been missing in previous years under various circumstances that did not imply foul play.

There was no description of what Thomas Johnson was wearing when he left.