Region mobilizes for missing man

River, parks searched

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ROSWELL, Ga. – The search for a missing Sandy Springs man intensified Dec. 13, with the Chattahoochee River water level lowered to help efforts to locate him.

James “Gary” Morris, 71, of Sandy Springs, was last seen at his home Dec. 4 as he left for Roswell’s Don White Park Extension, on Riverside Road. According to his family, he routinely walked the park.

About 1:15 p.m., when he had not returned home, his wife went looking for him and found his vehicle unattended. He could not be found.

“When she saw his car, she was very concerned about his health and well-being,” said Roswell Police Spokeswoman Officer Lisa Holland. Morris suffers from a heart condition and depression.

A Mattie’s Call was issued to help in the search for Morris. Such a call is an alert specifically aimed at finding elderly or disabled people.

Local public safety departments went into action immediately, searching for Morris.

Roswell had dogs and boats on the river the first day. After that, Gilmer County brought in a sonar equipped boat and personnel and a wave runner; Johns Creek brought a recovery boat and personnel; Milton Police brought in a K-9 unit; Clayton County brought in a dog team; Alpha Team, a nonprofit search and rescue team, brought in three dogs and handlers.

“We had a lot of help out there,” Holland said. “But we turned up nothing.”

The search was hampered in recent days due to heavy rainfall.

To help with the search, the Bull Sluice Dam was lowered Friday to reduce the water in the Chattahoochee to help in the search.

“We don’t know where he is,” Holland said. “But we want some closure for this family.”

If anyone has information about Morris’ whereabouts, contact the Roswell Police Department at 770-640-4100.