NewsYour Neighborhood Around AcadianaAcadia Parish


Family of James Gunnels seeking answers weeks after his disappearance

Posted at 9:55 PM, Mar 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-08 00:03:11-05

Weeks after he was first reported missing, the family of 89-year-old James Gunnels is suspicious on the details surrounding his disappearance.

Gunnels went missing after he left his assisted living facility in Alexandria on February 13. He was on his way to Walmart, but never returned. His truck was found abandoned in Morse a day later, about 100 miles away.

His family now worries violence could have played a role in his disappearance.

"With where we searched, and what we've done, the resources the Sheriff's Office put towards it. It doesn't line up with him in that field," said James Alban, Gunnels' grandson-in-law.

"As time goes, the holes in the heart continue to grow bigger. The questions get more frequent, the no sleep. The questions, they just continue to grow."

Alban and his family continue to ask - where is their grandfather? They say they won't stop until they get answers.

Gunnels' truck was discovered on February 14 at a crawfish pond on Blue Jay Road in Morse, but Alban now questions if Gunnels was ever there.

"There's been hundreds of people out there scouring this. There's no footprints, no fingerprints. I think there's been over 15 K-9 units, scent dogs, none of them have ever picked up a scent."

"We've out-searched that place," Alban stated. "He's not out there."

READ MORE: Search continues for elderly man who went missing in Acadia Parish

Family members don't want to rule out any scenario.

"There needs to be an open mind to think that there could have been foul play," said Alban. "There could have been something else."

Family members also say they were shown images of what deputies say was their loved one in his truck before it was eventually found in Morse. But they say something in the photos seemed off.

Explained Alban, "There's indication the driver [in the photo] wore glasses. Grandpa doesn't wear glasses."

Alban and the rest of Gunnels' family hopes they will soon have answers.