Beloved Trucker’s “Suspicious” Death Remains a Mystery as Family Pleads for Answers
Preston County, West Virginia – It’s been almost two months since trucker Philip “Buckie” Barlow was found deceased in a creek in Preston County, and family members are once again pleading for answers.
Buckie, as he was affectionately known, was beloved in his community and at the trucking company he drove for, Hillside Trucking in Kingwood.
The 61-year-old truck driver took his “final ride” on June 21, 2019 before he was laid to rest.
He was fittingly transported from the funeral home to the cemetery on what else… the back of a semi-truck.
WATCH his “final ride” at the bottom of this article.
His casket was adorned with a painted on picture of the truck he drove each day.
A more than 16-minute tribute video, made available to family and friends, is filled with images displaying his love for trucks and his career.
Family members even sold t-shirts in memory of Buckie that read, “All truckers go to Heaven… it just takes a few million miles to get there.”
Frustratingly though, the investigation into Buckie’s death has left more questions than answers.
“We haven’t heard anything since we found his body,” Everett Barlow, Buckie’s brother, recently told local news outlet WDTV.
“We’re Not Going To Stop Until We Get Answers”
According to Paul Pritt, the Chief Deputy of the Preston County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO), investigators have interviewed dozens of people, followed possible leads, and performed polygraph exams.
However, still no arrests have been made.
“We’re investigating a death and it had some suspicious circumstances around it,” Pritt recently said.
According to Pritt, two deputies are working full time on the case and numerous other outside agencies continue to assist, including the State Police.
“We want some answers and we’re not going to stop until we get our answers,” Pritt was quoted as saying.
Even still, the seeming lack of any meaningful progress is weighing heavily on Barlow’s family as they continue to seek justice in the death of their loved one.
Michael Barlow, also Buckie’s brother, is urging someone with information to come forward.
“I know there is somebody out there that knows something about it. We’d appreciate if they’d come forward with information,” he said to WDTV.
What We Know
Buckie was last heard from on Tuesday, May 29.
He reportedly talked to his girlfriend of seventeen years around 11:30 p.m. before leaving in his pickup truck to drive to work at Hillside Trucking in Kingwood, which is approximately 10 miles northeast of where Barlow lives.
When he did not show up for work at 1 a.m. he was soon reported missing because Buckie was not known to be late, according to investigators.
It did not take authorities long to locate Buckie’s pickup truck, however.
His Toyota Tundra was found at approximately 7 a.m. on Wednesday on Shower Bath Road off of Route 26, which is the road Barlow travels to and from work each day.
Police said the truck was on fire when it was discovered.
The Tunnelton Volunteer Fire Department (TVFD) then organized a sizable search team in an effort to locate him.
TVFD used its Facebook page to keep community members informed on their efforts.
For more than 10 days, teams of volunteers scoured the community looking for any signs of the truck driver.
A reward reaching as high as $3,500 was offered to anyone who could provide information leading to Buckie’s discovery.
On Saturday, June 8, Barlow’s body was found in a creek in the Fortney’s Mill area of Preston County.
Investigators revealed additional clues about the investigation.
Buckie’s phone pinged approximately 1/4 mile from his house at 12:01 a.m. the morning he went missing.
His phone pinged again at 12:29 a.m. around the Dollar General Store in Tunnelton and never pinged again.
Authorities are still asking for anyone with information to please contact the Preston County Sheriff’s Office.