Personal items found among the human skeletal remains last Sun., Nov. 3, have been identified by a family member as those belonging to James David Marcum.
Marcum was listed as a missing person on June 4 when he was last seen driving his four-wheeler along the road at Henlawson heading toward Mill Creek. Last Sunday, 911 was notified of a four-wheeler over an embankment near the Big Branch area of Henlawson. Upon investigation by the Logan County Sheriff’s Department, human skeletal remains were found. The remains have been sent to Washington DC to determine the identity of the person along with a cause of death.
Darlie Gearhart, Marcum’s sister, says that a necklace, gold wedding band, flip flops and the four wheeler found at the site belong to her brother.
“We have identified his belongings that were around the skeleton,” Gearhart said. “I am 100 percent positive it is him. In my heart, and my families heart, we all know it is him.”
An extensive search by local law enforcement of the surrounding mountains, river bank and local ponds was done in the weeks following Marcum’s June 4th disappearance. On Nov. 3, the skeletal remains were located in a small ravine less than 15 feet from a well-traveled road.
Gearhart said that her brother had taken the four-wheeler for a run to check it out because to him it smelled “hot.”
“I believe that the left tire shot off due to a bearing going out and sent him over the embankment,” Gearhart said. “He hit those boulders and it killed him.”
Gearhart says the family had checked that specific area several times throughout the summer but had never noticed the four-wheeler at the bottom of the embankment.
“It was just so vegetated that you couldn’t see anything,” Gearhart said. “There was nothing broken which leads me to believe that he went airborne when the wheel shot off.”
Gearhart said when she would drive around Henlawson looking for her brother she had people standing in the bed of her truck looking for any signs of foliage breakage or a decaying smell.
Gearhart said there was a reported smell approximately three weeks after Marcum’s disappearance.
“People were out looking and they found a dead deer and they just assumed that was the smell and didn’t continue to search anymore. There was no reason too once they found the deer,” Gearhart said.
Gearhart said when she would pass by there she could also smell something, but just assumed it was the dead deer that had been found.
“You can’t kick yourself any harder, being that close as I was when his son wrecked his four-wheeler a few weeks ago. I wasn’t 50 feet from him. We were all over in there, moving around and none of us saw anything,” Gearhart said.
Gearhart said she, along with her family, want to extend their thanks to the local law enforcement that searched for Marcum.
“I want to give thanks to Sheriff Sonya Porter for one,” Gearhart said. “Her and Officer Cobbs have been the best to me. All the people who went and searched… the water rescue teams, volunteer firemen and the men with the helicopter. Any time they would get a lead, they would take off on a search. I thank everybody wholeheartedly for everything they did for the last five months.”