Derek Woodston Buford, 42, of Grayson, Ga. is believed to have left for work as usual on the morning of Aug. 23. But he never arrived at his Covington place of employment. His family has been desperately seeking help in trying to locate him since then.
Susan Watts, a family friend, has been helping the family in their search for information.
“They are feeling frustrated, and are wondering if maybe a major news station with traffic helicopters could fly over the area and perhaps see his vehicle – if it was a single car accident,” Watts said.
Members of the family He is an employee at Southeastern Builders Supply, 1186 Clark St. in Covington. Watts said they have driven all the possible routes he could have taken from his home in Grayson to Covington, but so far have not been any sign of him or the Silver 2005 Tribute he was believed to be driving.
The Gwinnett County Police Department has opened up a missing person’s docket and are looking into Buford’s disappearance.
“The family doesn’t have any experience on how to coordinate a search or anything,” Watts said. “If anyone knows an organization that does this or who could advise them – they need all the help they can get.”
The missing persons report was filed by Buford’s mother, who shares a home in Grayson with him. In the report, she told police that she did not see her son at abut 9 p.m. Wednesday, which is when she went to bed. He wasn’t there when she woke up on Thursday morning, but she wasn’t concerned since he usually left for work early in the morning. However, when she received a call from his employer at about 9 a.m. telling her he had not arrived at work, she became concerned because “he was always very punctual.”
According to the report, she first called around to all area hospitals because he had recently been discharged after being treated for “heart related issues.” She also was concerned about the fact that he did not have his medication with him. Buford’s name has been entered into the National Crime Information Center database and Gwinnett Police are working it as a missing person. According to Cpl. Ed Ritter, public information officer for GCPD, there is no further information at this time.
In the meantime, the family is doing everything they can to canvass the area that Buford might have taken on his way to work on Thursday morning.
Buford has two teenage children, a son and a daughter. Watts said they are being assisted in the search by their mother, Grace Buford, who no longer lives with Buford but remains a good friend. Buford is reported to be on medication for a heart condition that he doesn’t have with him. His phone, also, has reportedly been switched off since Wednesday, but family members say that isn’t unusual since he often forgot to put it on charge overnight.
Anyone with any information is asked to call 911 or contact the Gwinnett County police at Gwinnett County Police Department at 770-513-5000. The family is also asking for help from any persons or organizations with experience in organizing searches for missing persons.