SURRY COUNTY, N.C. – The potential of finding out what happened to a long-missing Surry county man is bringing hope and pain to his family.
James “Jimmy” Huff disappeared in 2007. His truck was found about 10 minutes away from an office space he rented on Palmer Road in the Beulah area.
Since Monday, investigators have been using heavy machinery to go through the woods behind that address on Palmer Road in search of Huff’s remains.
On Friday, Phyllis Wilkinson learned of the search for her brother and paid the detectives a visit.
“The last time I talked to him was here,” said Wilkinson. “He leased office space and sometimes slept here.”
Huff’s truck was found abandoned about 10 minutes away from the search area eight years ago. Wilkinson said nothing was missing from his home, truck or office, except for a Bible that he always carried around. It’s the reason she believes there’s still a chance he’s alive.
“I'm hoping that they don't find a body and my brother is still alive and he comes home,” said Wilkinson.
Detectives with the sheriff’s office made a public request for information into Huff’s disappearance more than two years ago.
He was last seen feeding cows near Oak Grove Baptist Church in April of 2007. Huff was a cattle broker and it wasn't out of the ordinary for him to be gone for long periods of time selling cows out of state.
Sheriff Graham Atkinson has not said what led investigators to begin the latest search for Huff.
“It gives you hope though that they haven't given up looking after all this time and I appreciate that,” said Atkinson.