Dirt pile moved after KATC reports

latest update on missing St. Martinville man, Albert Willis
Posted at 11:05 PM, Sep 30, 2021

Hours after our report at 10:00 Wednesday night, Albert Willis' brother contacted us saying the pile of dirt, where K-9 searchers got hit, had been moved Thursday morning.

Albert Willis, of St Martinville, was last seen June 18. Weeks ago, search crews were led by K-9 to a pond off of St Ann St. KATC obtained video which appears to show the search dogs getting a hit in a pile of dirt.

The pile initially sat at the edge of the pond, but cell phone video shows the pile had been moved a few feet, next to a tree. The missing man's brother now questions whether it was moved properly.

"I saw a couple guys with trucks and tractors, and they had completed....whatever they were told to come and do here."

David Willis says when he arrived at the pond Thursday morning, crews were on their way out. He says only workers were there, no one from law enforcement was at the site.

"There was no search team here to conduct a search with this. Nobody was here."

St Martinville Chief of Police Ricky Martin explains after KATC's story Wednesday night, he received a call from someone offering to do the work.

"The person who was out there this morning was a local contractor," the chief says. "He saw it on the news last night and contacted me and he sent his whole crew out there."

Contrary to what the missing man's brother says he saw when he was out near the pond, Chief Martin says he, along with other members of his team, were at the site.
He also says the pile was searched.

When asked if forensic investigators were on hand for the search, the chief responded saying he, his chief deputy and a detective were there. He added with so much rain recently, the dirt is muddy and harder to sort through.

Chief Martin says he knows the family is waiting for new information but says his department did not notify the Willis family that the pile was being moved.

"No. We just go out there and do it and contact them after to let them know what we did."

"This is my brother," David Willis expresses. "I have been going through this for almost four months. No conclusion. No closure."

The chief says his department isn't giving up the search. The Willis family says they aren't either.

If you see or know the whereabouts of Albert Willis, call St Martinville Police at 394-3001 or call 911.

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