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Truck of missing man located in Adams County; human remains nearby

NATCHEZ — An abandoned truck and human remains were found in the woods near 400 Tate Road late Friday and early Saturday, officials said.

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said the truck, a white 2002 GMC four-door pickup, was registered to Welton “Wick” Pierce of Zachary, Louisiana, who was reported missing in October 2019.

“Even though human remains have been found, we still need to verify the deceased’s identity through medical records,” Patten said Saturday.

Adams County Coroner James Lee said he later obtained medical records and feels certain the remains belong to Pierce. Lee said he found no signs of trauma to the remains that would suggest foul play.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office, Zachary Police Department, Louisiana Search and Rescue dog team, West Feliciana Sheriff’s Office and numerous volunteers — including members of Pierce’s family — assisted in a search when the truck was found by hunters at approximately 8 p.m. Friday, law officials said.

“The truck was found almost a mile into the woods,” Patten said.

The search yielded nothing after dark Friday and commenced again early Saturday morning.

Human remains were later found by Search and Rescue dogs approximately 40 yards from the truck at approximately 9:45 a.m. Saturday morning, Patten said.

Zachary Police Chief David McDavid said Pierce was a business owner in Zachary.

“He ran Pierce Automotive and Wrecker Service and became missing October of last year. We’ve been doing searches by air and ground with horses and four-wheelers with multiple agencies throughout Mississippi.”

There is no evidence to suggest foul play in Pierce’s disappearance, McDavid said.

“We’re grateful to all of the agencies who assisted and we hope to finally give the family of Mr. Pierce some closure,” he said.

McDavid asked for others to keep the Pierce family in their prayers.

“The family lost their mother (Mildred Pierce) two months after their dad’s disappearance when she crashed into a pond (in Zachary). It’s a hard time for them and a tragic thing that happened,” he said.