Deputies seek help on missing person

By CHERIE WARD

Joe "Jobe" Vaughn Jr. went fishing July 17, 2005, and no one has seen him since, according to authorities.

Police reports reflect Vaughn's father called Jackson County sheriff's deputies two days later and said he'd dropped his 23-year-

old son off at a pond near Old River Road Loop in Vancleave. The younger Vaughn was to walk to a nearby home and call his father for a ride after he finished fishing, but the call never came.

"His family deserves some closure," said Sheriff's Capt. Mick Sears. "And Jobe deserves to have someone take up for him."

Sears said Vaughn is presumed dead by investigators.

"Over the years, there's been no activity with his Social Security number and no one has seen him," Sears said.

According to previous reports, nearby residents smelled something they described as "decaying" near McGregor Road in Vancleave.

Cadaver dogs with Gulf Coast Search and Rescue probed the area July 26, 2005, only to discover a decomposing dog in a plastic garbage bag as the source of the rotting smell.

Nearby woods were also explored with helicopters and terrain vehicles but revealed nothing.

Sears said Vaughn had a history of drug problems and had been arrested more than once for drug possession.

In one report, the senior Vaughn stated his son was depressed over a girl he was in love with, alleging his son may have harmed himself. The girl was reportedly living with one of Vaughn's friends.

"There's no evidence of that," Sears said.

The captain added that several of Vaughn's close friends and relatives are currently suspects.

"The bottom line is we think he's dead, and we think there was foul play," Sears said. "Someone knows something, and they need to come forward."

Call the Jackson County Sheriff's Department at 228-769-3063 with information about the disappearance and possible death of Jobe Vaughn.

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