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.