8:25 AM, Jun 15, 2011
STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. -- It has been 18 months since Ricky Starnes' family has seen him. They fear the 49-year-old Stockbridge man is dead because he always kept in touch with them.
Starnes lived with his grandmother who raised him since he was a child. His family said a day never went by that he didn't call Granny to let her know where he was. That was until December 7, 2009. Starnes hasn't called her since.
Reba Moore, or Granny, had to go to the eye doctor in Stockbridge that day. Ricky Starnes went with her so he could driver her home after her appointment.
While she was at the doctor's office off of Highway 138, Ricky walked across the highway to the Sunoco convenience store to get a pack of cigarettes.
He never came back.
"We posted Stockbridge, the whole area with posters asking if anybody's seen or heard from him," said Starnes' sister-in-law Sheila Seidler.
Henry County Police said Starnes was seen on the convenience store's video, buying a pack of cigarettes, but that was the last time he was seen.
A year and a half later, family of the NASCAR fanatic who loved fishing, can't help but fear the worst.
"I think someone killed him," Seidler said. "He would have called Granny."
Seidler said Starnes' family and his Granny spent months searching for him until last August when she died not knowing the whereabouts of her grandson, the man she raised from childhood.
"I think that's what killed her, the emotional grief of not knowing, Siedler said.
She said she thinks Granny knew her grandson was dead but held on to some hope. "Let's put it this way," she said. "She was on her death bed asking for Ricky."
Henry County Police put out a missing person report on Ricky Starnes after exhausting every lead they have in the case. They say it is a last resort to ask the public for help.
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