Search on for missing man

Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Searchers Brian Tonsetic and Ryan Crosslin emerged at Old Lake Road, after beating the bushes all the way down Rock Creek from its crossing with Fox Lane.

Police, fire fighters and the TBI helicopter searched for a missing man near Lewisburg Tuesday morning.

At press time, they reported no success in the hunt for David Dickinson, 49, of Kentucky, who was reported missing Monday evening.

More than 30 fire fighters started at 6 a.m. and searched both banks of Rock Creek, down as far as Old Lake Road and up as far as Fairview Market. They started from New Life Family Tabernacle on Fox Lane.

That's where Dickinson was last seen alive Monday morning. According to Ricky Cozart, Chief of the Belfast Volunteer Fire Department, Dickinson and his wife and two children arrived at the church Saturday, staying in their camper alongside the building. Dickinson's parents came down to the church from Clarksville. He preached Saturday and Sunday, and left the camper about 8 a.m. Monday morning.

"The family thinks he went out for a nature walk," Cozart said.

Later, Dickinson's wife thought he must be with the church's pastor, Tim Atkisson, and she only came to realize her husband was missing when the pastor showed up around 6 p.m. and said he hadn't seen Dickinson all day.

It was about 7 p.m. Monday when the missing person report was made, and immediately Ranger Shane Petty was called to bring his tracking dogs. They were unable to pick up any scent, however.

Volunteer and city firefighters started searching the banks of Rock Creek at first light Tuesday, dividing into teams to literally beat the bushes on both sides of the creek, starting at Fox Lane. They walked south as far as Old Lake Road, and north to Fairview Market. About four miles of creek bank was covered in the search that lasted just over two hours.

"We turned it over pretty good in there," said Captain Steve Anderson as he emerged from the bushes.

Lewisburg Fire Chief Larry Williams supplied the map coordinates for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation helicopter, which flew over the area, searching for Dickinson, at about 11 a.m.

"We'll expand the search area if necessary," said Cozart.

Dickinson is described as a white male, about 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing around 230 pounds, with short salt-and-pepper hair.

According to Cozart, the family said he had no mental or physical problems they were aware of.

Anyone with information regarding Dickinson's whereabouts is asked to call 359-4044.