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Missing man found dead along road

Officials say 31-year-old David Aquilar may have been down in some weeds for as many as three days before he was found dead this morning.

"If he'd made it a couple more feet from that fenceline, he'd have been right at the road where someone would have seen him right away," says Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton.

Officials with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office say Aquilar was a migrant worker on a nearby tobacco farm. Aquilar was complaining to his fellow workers of sickness on Saturday afternoon and walked away. That was the last time anyone saw him alive.

"We think right now he walked through the field to where we located him and we think he's been there since Saturday afternoon," says Sheriff Melton.

Sheriff Melton says several workers on that farm had been sick last week.

"Three or four had been taken to the local hospital and treated for tobacco poisoning. You can get very, very ill as a result of the nicotine that's in tobacco. That's a common thing amongst the migrant workers," says Sheriff Melton.

Aquilar wasn't reported missing until late last night. Sheriff Melton says if officials had been called right away, the outcome could have been much different.

"An important key in any missing person case is to notify law enforcement immediately. Sometimes migrant workers feel threatened by police and law enforcement, but you know, our job is to serve everybody regardless of race, creed, or anything else. We want to make sure we do that professionally and with honor for everybody," he says.

Officials say an autopsy will be done to find out exactly what caused Aquilar to collapse along the road.

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