Questions Abound After “Missing” Truck Driver Found Dead
Preston County, West Virginia – The search for a missing Preston County, West Virginia truck driver came to a tragic end on Saturday after his body was found near where he went missing ten days earlier.
According to the Preston County Sheriff’s Office, the body of 61-year-old Philip “Buckie” Barlow, of Tunnelton, was found in the Fortney’s Mill area of Preston County.
Barlow was last heard from on Tuesday, May 29.
He reportedly talked to his girlfriend 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 Barlow was not known to be late, according to investigators.
It did not take authorities long to locate Barlow’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 Barlow.
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 Barlow.
A reward reaching as high as $3,500 was offered to anyone who could provide information leading to Barlow’s discovery.
On Saturday came the news Barlow’s family and friends feared.
TVFD announced a search party had found Barlow’s body, but did not give specific details, saying it was time to “grieve.”
However, investigators are still looking for clues that might reveal what happened to Barlow.
According to officials, his 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 asking for anyone with information to please contact the Preston County Sheriff’s Office.
Transportation Nation Network will continue to monitor the ongoing investigation.