OIL SPRINGS, Ky. (WSAZ) — In the search for a missing farm couple, the hope is for the best possible outcome.
Family, friends and the county sheriff, however, all fear the worst.
WSAZ.com’s Randy Yohe conducted an investigation that uncovered some disturbing information. He found it’s disturbing to many who know Larry and Sandra Blanton, a semi-retired eastern Kentucky farm couple.
The Blantons live with their son, Willie Blanton, and the couple has been missing about three weeks.
Johnson County Sheriff Dwayne Price says the only stories of their disappearance come from Willie, and that nothing is adding up. Nothing, that is, but an investigation switch — from a national probe to searching the family farm property.
The rocking chairs sit empty at the Blantons’ hilltop farm house in Oil Springs.
Price says it was Sandra’s elderly mother who lives out of state — not the son Willie — who called in the missing person report.
Sandra’s mother told investigators she talked with her daughter about every day until Sept. 5 — then nothing.
Willie said his parents went to Florida.
“I’ve never known them to take a vacation, and they said that’s what they were going to do was to get away,” he said.
But Price says Florida was just one of several stories Willie Blanton told him and family members about his parents’ disappearance.
“He told some they were going camping; he told others they were going to Florida,” Price said. “It just doesn’t add up. It’s out of character for both Larry and Sandra to leave.”
The sheriff says the Blantons’ troubling bank and cell phone records show no transactions and no calls since Sept. 5.
Court records show Willie Blanton is an ex-convict, with a criminal history of burglary and theft.
“I’ve had people make accusations that I would do something to my parents,” Willie said.
Yohe asked Price if Willie Blanton is a suspect or a person of interest.
“He’s a person of interest,” Price said. “We’re going to bring in canine units to search the property just to be sure. It’s unusual, highly unusual.”
Price said the Blantons’ Dodge pick-up truck never left their Oil Springs farm. Willie told him his parents left in a blue Nissan, but the sheriff says there’s no evidence of that.
We talked to Sandra Blanton’s mother in Ohio. She says her daughter and son-in-law would never leave the farm without notice
Price says he’ll soon bring Willie Blanton in for a third interview. The sheriff also tells us two national missing person databases report no findings on the Blantons.