BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – A Burke County family plans to unveil one of two billboards featuring their missing loved one in hopes of getting some concrete information about what happened the day he disappeared.
Simon Powell’s family chose a very visual representation after a year and a half of unfruitful tips and unsuccessful searches.
His niece, Tanesha Brown, spoke with NewsChannel 6 about why the wanted billboards.
“If you let it die down people will forget about you,” she said.
Standing for all to see on the Gordon Highway at North Leg Road is a billboard of Powell.
“If you know anything say something,” she said.
That’s the message Brown and the rest of her family wants the CSRA to know. In fact, the message on the billboard says, ‘If you know something, say something’ and ‘Help bring our loved one home!’
NewsChannel 6 first told you about Powell, who was 63 when he disappeared, in June of 2016. He left his home in the 6300 block of River Road in Burke County June 1, 2016 and never returned. The next day, investigators with the Burke County Sheriffs Office located Powell’s Ford Pickup truck on Wilson Road.
“The family said it wasn’t uncommon for him to go on a walk in the afternoon,” said Sgt. Cameron Hampton, a Burke County Sheriff’s Office Investigator. “But for him to have been in his vehicle that late at night and then not coming home was strange.”
Powell’s family also tell me that he had too much to willingly leave behind including a lumber business. So, they are hoping the Augusta billboard and a second billboard on the Waynesboro Bypass gets people talking.
Brown explained the past year and a half has been hard on the family, but they reflect on times spent with him.
“Me and him talked every day or every other day,” she said. “We laughed and joked. It was just good seeing him at all times. We ride up and down the road. We pass each other and throw up our hands before we even get to each other because we know we are going to meet each other.”
We spoke with Powell’s son too who told us they are offering a reward of up to $15,000 depending on what information is given to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.
Sgt. Hampton explained to us that this is the biggest missing person case he has covered. But he added that people can contact him anonymously.
“I understand if somebody has information and they are nervous to put their name out there. If it’s like that, don’t give me your name. I don’t need your name to follow a lead.”
The family plans to hold a billboard dedication tomorrow at 1pm at the Waynesboro Bypass billboard.
Photojournalist: Gary Hipps