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Dodson still is missing
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Ricky Dodson

Monday, November 11, 2013

By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer

Ricky Dodson’s 54th birthday on Halloween came and went. Thanksgiving and Christmas are approaching as family members try to cope with his absence.

His mother, Polly (Paulette) Dodson, and the rest of his family are worried because they have not seen or heard anything from Dodson since 7 or 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3. The Bassett man reportedly was last seen with Vicky Harbour Purdy, 53, who also was last seen Oct. 3 by her husband, authorities have said.

Purdy was identified through DNA tests after her remains were found Oct. 6 in a burned vehicle on Philpott Road in Franklin County, near the Henry County line.

Dodson’s mother is anxious for information about her son.

“We’ve not heard anything. Not a word. The police say they are still working on it, but I don’t think they’ve gotten any information either; nothing they can give us, anyway,” Polly Dodson said.

“We are actively investigating a missing persons case, and we are actively looking for Mr. Dodson,” said Henry County Sheriff’s Maj. Ricky Walker.

The search has taken authorities to several areas where they have worked with other law enforcement agencies, Walker said. He declined to elaborate because the investigation is ongoing.

“We’ve followed up on the leads that we’ve had. We’ve talked to all the relatives and all the contacts we’ve been given,” he said. “I know a lot of time and attention has been given to this case, and we appreciate any input anybody has.”

Franklin County Sheriff’s Lt. Philip Young said no updates are available in the Purdy case.

“We are continuing to work on this case diligently and ask anyone with information to call,” Young said.

Polly Dodson said Purdy’s son has visited her a few times since the identity of his mother’s remains was confirmed.

“He was trying to find out what was going on. Like us, he has more questions than answers,” Dodson said.

Ricky Dodson has “never been gone this long before,” his mother said. “I don’t think he would have been gone a week without getting in touch with me and letting me know he’s all right.”

Although she said she has relatives in other states, including Texas and Delaware, “no one has heard anyone from him,” and her son “wasn’t close to any of them,” Polly Dodson said.

Ricky Dodson was missing on his birthday on Oct. 31. “We didn’t do anything that day but think about him,” his mother said. “We did take his grandson trick or treating.”

HIs grandson is a year old, and “he loves his grandfather,” Polly Dodson said.

The boy had a picture “of Ricky and he would kiss on that picture. Ricky thought the world of him,” Polly Dodson said. She added that other family members — including Ricky Dodson’s daughter and son-in-law — “are all tore up” not knowing Dodson’s whereabouts.

Not long after he went missing, Polly Dodson said, she tried to reach her son on his cell phone.

“It goes directly to voice mail, but I left a message one time. I told him that I loved him and I missed him and wished I knew what happened,” Polly Dodson said.

She does not believe her son ever got the call.

“I really don’t think he’s alive,” she said.

A white male, Dodson has brown hair and green eyes. He is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs about 158 pounds, authorities have said.

“I hope that anybody who knows anything will call and that people out hunting would keep their eyes open, too, and watch for places out in the woods or abandoned buildings or anything” where her son could be, Dodson said.

Anyone with any information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 638-8751.

Anyone with any information about Purdy’s death is asked to call Franklin County Sheriff’s Capt. Paul Caldwell at (540) 352-5174.


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