Crews search for missing elderly man

Published: Dec. 10, 2013 at 4:56 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 7, 2014 at 4:56 PM CST
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LACEY'S SPRING, AL (WAFF) - Crews in Morgan County are searching for a Lacey's Spring man who wandered away from his home some time Tuesday morning.

Deputies, Lacey's Spring Volunteer Fire Department and the Morgan County Rescue Squad are combining their efforts to find 74-year-old Franklin Howard Payne.

Deputies were called to Pine Hill Circle Tuesday morning for a report of a missing person. Relatives reported Payne was last seen around 1 a.m.

Payne suffers from dementia. He's believed to be wearing a black coat, black pants, black dress shoes and a dark colored shirt.

Payne is 5'10", 175 pounds, white hair, blue eyes and fair complexion. Investigators said he may be with black and white Shih tzu dogs.

Sheriff Ana Franklin said they are following leads as the search continues.

"He is otherwise in very good health so we are hopeful we will be able to find him and get him home safely before the temperatures continue to fall tonight. It is what we consider a critical emergency situation that he be located," Franklin said.

Tuesday evening, investigators said they received a tip that Payne had been given a ride to a gas station, and was trying to ask people for money to get on a bus. The surveillance tape is being reviewed by investigators.

A mobile command center has been set up to continue the seach for Payne through the overnight hours and into Wednesday.

Anyone with information should call the sheriff's office at 256-301-1174.

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