Search continues for missing Marion Co. man - FOX 35 News Orlando

Search continues for missing Marion Co. man

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John Radabaugh Jr. John Radabaugh Jr.

FRIDAY: The search continues Friday in the disappearance of Johnny Radabaugh.

As the third day in the search for Johnny Radabaugh Jr., 48, came to a close, there was still no sign of the special needs man who has the mental capacity of a 3-6 year old.

"It would be real good if we could find him and take him home," said Johnny's stepmother Kim Radabaugh.

Johnny wandered off on Tuesday when he was outside raking leaves with his dad.  The family says the phone rang inside, Johnny's dad ran in to get it and when he came back outside, Johnny was gone. 

"Things catch his eye and he goes," Kim Radabaugh said. "We stay on top of it.  This time he just, he just got away from us."

Since Johnny was reported missing, dozens of volunteers have searched dirt country roads and deep into the woods trying to find him. 

"We are trying to over lay each step of the map surrounding, starting with his home as center point," said Lt. Bill Sowder. "We're trying to cover as much ground as possible."

Johnny is likely out there among critters and tough terrain. 

"It's a lot of dirt roads, lot of clay roads; a lot of forestry roads, and a lot of wildlife out here -- some friendly, some not so friendly. Bears, coyotes, alligators, lots of critters that become a concern," said Lt. Sowder.

The Marion County Sheriff's Office plans to resume the search Saturday. They're asking volunteers to report to the Moss Bluff Baptist Church in Ocklawaha between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.


THURSDAY: The search continues for a man who disappeared days ago in Marion County.
Kim Radabaugh says it took only a moment for her son Johnny to walk away. It was a phone call that caused her husband to go inside, while the father and son did yard work outside.

"He wasn't even in the house two minutes and he was gone," Kim said.
Even though Johnny's a grown man, Kim is worried about his safety, because he's mentally disabled.

"Johnny's 48, but he's got a mind of a 3-or-4-year-old. Some people might think he's a drunk on the road or on serious drugs but he's not. "
Around 70 people searched the Ocklawaha area using ATVs, boats, K-9s and a helicopter on Thursday. Deputies from both Marion and Lake counties have been looking for Johnny, but they say the conditions are challenging.

"Mostly the terrain, got a lot of marshy area. Area's that we really can't get to so we have to get out with the four wheelers and get out on foot trying to search area as best we possibly can," said Lt. Fredinal Chishom of the Marion County Sheriff's Office.
"My biggest fear right now is it's supposed to freeze in the forest tonight and he only has, has no socks, just crocks, a pair of pajama bottoms and a T-shirt," Kim said. 

This mother has another reason why she's worried about her son.

"My worst fear is that someone has him that's not gonna bring him back."
Kim says Johnny is wearing a yellow T-shirt and black pajama bottoms, with red and yellow spots. His crocks are black with a green neon strap, "He loves the woods, he was raised in the woods. He could survive it. I don't think he would walk up to you and ask for help, but if you spoke first then he would."
Johnny is 5-feet, 3-inches tall and weighs 130 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair.

"He would not hurt anybody. He's a very loving kid, and we want him home. If you see him, please don't be afraid of him just call us and we'll come get him."
Anyone who see's Johnny is asked to call the Marion County Sheriff's Office or CrimeStoppers at 352-368-STOP.

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