Meridian Star

May 21, 2013

Search suspended for missing autistic man

By Brian Livingston /
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     County authorities are somewhat confused as to what may have happened to an autistic man who was reported missing Sunday.

    For hours Lauderdale County Emergency Management Agency, Lauderdale County Fire Service and Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department personnel searched for the man identified as Darren Johnson.

    "We searched for hours in the immediate area of the subject's home and we monitored all the roads," said LEMA Dir. David Sharp Monday. "We couldn't find any sign of him and we suspended the search late Sunday until we can get some more information."

    LCSD Chief Dep. Ward Calhoun said the searchers combed the area around a mobile home park on Rabbit Road near the Meridian Naval Air Station front gate Sunday but got no results.

    "We are not actively searching for him," Calhoun said. "Our deputies have been given a description of the subject and when we are in the area we are keeping our eyes open for anyone remotely matching his description."

    Johnson is described as a black male standing 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing about 220 pounds. He is said to have been wearing a light blue shirt and faded blue jeans and orange tennis shoes. Johnson has a bald head.

    Johnson is autistic and although he can hear, he can't speak.

    "He has walked away before but he was found pretty quickly," Sharp said. "We hope someone has seen him and knows where he is."

    Sharp said if anyone knows the whereabouts of Johnson to call 911.

    "By calling 911 the sheriff's department and LEMA can be notified a lot quicker," Sharp said.