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Pickens mother fears for son’s life; pleads for help

Updated: Body of missing person found in Gordon County.



John Wood Jr.

          Pickens resident Sherry Ainsworth said her 22-year-old son John Wood Jr. was set to move to Arkansas from his apartment in Calhoun, Ga., this past Saturday, but the distraught mother said she hasn’t seen or heard from him in over a week.

             “I’m sick with worry,” said Ainsworth, who tearfully described an unsettling series of events that were uncovered after she filed a missing persons report with Gordon County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, July 28. “It’s not like him at all to not call for so long. We talked every day to the point that I had to tell him, ‘Son, I need to get some work done.’”

            Ainsworth said she spoke to her son the Thursday before he planned to move back to Arkansas with his father, then texted him that Saturday to see how the move was going.


            “He was supposed to get his deposit from the landlord and leave,” Ainsworth said. “I didn’t hear back on Saturday and didn’t think too much of it, but when Sunday came and I hadn’t heard from him I starting thinking, ‘Okay. Where’s John?’”


            Ainsworth said she went to her son’s apartment and “all the clothes were there, all the deodorant and all those types of things, all packed up and ready to go,” she said. “These are things someone would need.” 


            Ainsworth filed the missing report and subsequent police investigations found that two suspicious white men in their late teens or early 20s visited Wood’s Calhoun apartment the Thursday before he was scheduled to move.


            “The neighbor said they knocked on her door and one tried to come in,” Ainsworth said. “She said they were aggressive and she was scared of them and got their vehicle tag. John wasn’t home then, but they came back later when he was there and the neighbor said John seemed scared.”


            Ainsworth, who opened Whitestone Shutter Company in Pickens four years ago, said her son just moved to Calhoun last month after living in Arkansas since early 2014.


            “He grew up in Arkansas, but moved to Pickens in 2012 when he graduated,” she said. “He worked at the Kroger in Jasper and moved back to Arkansas this past March. He moved to Calhoun this June, just for a month.”


            Wood has been placed on the National Crime Information Database as a missing person. He drives a 1997 Dodge Ram pickup truck with a busted right taillight. He was living in at 373 Baker Road in Calhoun, Ga., at the time of his disappearance.


            The van driven by the two suspicious men was identified as a tan 1999 GMC Safari mini van from Jonesboro, Ga.


            “He’s very outgoing and will talk to anybody,” she said. “It doesn’t feel right and it’s not him at all. Something doesn’t make sense.” 


            The family has created a Facebook page called “Help Bring John Wood Jr. Home” to help search efforts and spread information.


            If you have any information about Wood’s whereabouts please contact your local law enforcement agency.







Wendy Barnes
-16 #1 Wendy Barnes 2014-08-01 21:49
What's up with all the moving every month? Was he trying to prevent someone from finding him?
+1 #2 Sheree 2014-08-02 19:16
John's Girlfriend was in Arkansas with him and moved back to the Calhoun/Jasper area in March. He came back to Ga to be with her.
Catherine Bell
+5 #3 Catherine Bell 2014-08-02 22:30
NO! He moved here for family... IS THAT ANY OF YOUR BUSINESS?
Kittie Mayfield
+2 #4 Kittie Mayfield 2014-08-04 16:21
Sheree & Cathy, you are all very much in my prayers! And you are right-nobody's business how many times he moved!
louann duckett
0 #5 louann duckett 2014-08-04 21:32
Some pl if that was there child what would they do prayer for his retrun
Barbara Brinkley
0 #6 Barbara Brinkley 2014-08-04 22:20
Sheree and Catherine, I am so sorry. Prayers for you and your family. I cannot imagine.
Janice Gill
0 #7 Janice Gill 2014-08-04 23:23
I am praying for the family .people talks about it being close to home. This you man lived right up the road from where I live. He lives on baker road and I live on baker circle . That did hit home for me cause I have a 19 year old son.

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