Help sought in finding missing man
by Matt Quillen
Feb 17, 2011 | 4955 views |  0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Area law enforcement agencies are still searching for a Sylacauga man reported missing two weeks ago.

Lt. Jason McNeill, chief investigator for the Sylacauga Police Department, said they followed several leads and tips received since Shep Deon Leonard’s disappearance.

“Every day we are backtracking and looking at every tip again, but nothing has come from it,” McNeill said.

Police determined through phone records that Leonard, 32, did speak with someone Feb. 5. The person he spoke to reported to police no knowledge on the missing man’s whereabouts.

McNeill said authorities had not discovered any evidence suggesting foul play but were not ruling anything out.

Police are working on the case with sheriff’s departments in Talladega County and Shelby County. A Shelby County deputy discovered Leonard’s 1999 black four-door Pontiac Grand Am Feb. 6 on the side of a road near the Chelsea Walmart.

The deputy stopped to inspect it when it remained there the following day.

Investigators collected evidence from the vehicle and performed initial testing. Also, they planned to send some of the items from the car for further forensic testing.

The vehicle was found locked and did not appear to be broken into.

Leonard’s mother reported seeing him last around 10 p.m. Feb. 4 leaving Walmart on U.S. 280. Leonard is a black male, approximately five feet, eleven inches tall and 189 pounds.

McNeill previously described Leonard as a person who regularly checked in with family and had a set routine. Police asked people in the community to assist in finding him.

Anyone with information on the matter can contact the Sylacauga Police Department at 256-401-2442. They may also report information anonymously to the automated tip line at 256-249-4716.