Officials Continue Search For Missing Alabama Man

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

It's been nearly two months and there's still no sign of a missing Alabama man last seen in Pike County. Saturday crews started searching the Big Sandy River again looking for Matthew Dobbs. Police still say they don't know if 19 year old Dobbs is alive or dead, but they say new information leads them to believe his body might be in the river behind the Pikeville Days Inn.

Crews have searched this area before with no luck, but are back again, this time with high-tech underwater cameras so they can actually see under the water.

"Either find something or rule out he's not in that area," said Sgt. Aaron Thompson with the Pikeville Police Departments.

Family members say Dobbs was last seen on January 5th in Pikeville. The Alabama man was with his father and wife on the way to Virginia when they stopped to rest at the Super 8 Motel and then Matthew just disappeared.

"Rare that you have a person that is missing, who is missing for this long, and you don't have some end," Thompson said.

The 19 year old is still considered just a missing person, but crews are searching the Big Sandy River looking for his body. After getting new information, investigators believe he was also at the Days Inn the night he disappeared and they have narrowed the search to the water behind the motel.

"The area that Mr. Dobbs was last seen, that's the reason we're searching that area, that's the reason we've narrowed it to that area," Thompson said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reduced the water level to six feet to help the search.

"With the cameras that they're utilizing and the drag system, the lower the water, the more possibility if there's anything there, they'll be able to find it," Thompson said.

After searching for weeks, crews hope the cameras will lead them to finding Dobbs and say they're not giving up on this mystery until they get answers.

"For as long as it takes," Thompson said.

Dobbs' family members are back in Alabama and Georgia, except for his father, who is in the Pike County jail. He was arrested the night Matthew disappeared on unrelated charges. Of course, police say there is the possibility Dobbs is still alive somewhere, so they ask if anyone has any information, call Pikeville Police.

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