According to Assistant Calhoun County Coroner Shane Adrian, the remains of Bobby Jack Travis, 77, of Anniston were found in a wooded area not far from the man’s McClellan home.
Adrian said the body was discovered around 1:50 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. The cause of death is suicide, Adrian said. Authorities believe Travis died on Thursday. Anniston police confirmed those details Tuesday afternoon.
Travis had last been seen on Thursday near his residence at Casey Estates, an apartment building on Polkville Drive at McClellan, police said.
Harold Rhodes, commander of Calhoun County Civil Defense, said the search was called off after Travis’ body was discovered nearly half a mile from Casey Estates.
By Tuesday afternoon, a police cruiser had barricaded a road near where Rhodes said Travis had been found.
Rhodes said the body was found behind a gate owned by the Department of Defense. The search for Travis involved more than 40 people and two helicopters, according to Rhodes.
Robin Scott, executive director of McClellan Development Authority, said the body was discovered in a posted area where the development authority is doing cleanup.
“We have guards that go back there and check those gates daily,” Scott said.
Scott said a request was received from police for an escort into the wooded area so investigators “would not get into trouble.”
Anniston police Sgt. Josh Doggrell said Anniston’s Special Response Team searched the area near Travis’ home until “past dark” Monday night. Doggrell said the search was difficult because of the thick woods near the residence. Travis’ relatives notified police that he was missing after regular contact with him by phone became irregular, Doggrell said. Travis’ closest relatives live near Lincoln, Doggrell said, which hindered the investigation.
Casey Estates, where police said Travis lived, is a low-cost apartment building that caters to seniors. A person who answered the phone there Tuesday morning said representatives of the facility would not speak about Travis or about Casey Estates in general. Casey Estates is owned by Mansermar Inc. a Duluth, Ga.,-based company. Mansermar owns more than 50 properties spread across the lower half of the United States. A company representative who answered the phone Tuesday morning directed questions regarding Casey Estates to local management.
Randy Frost, director of the Area Agency on Aging, said Casey Estates is considered an independent living facility where tenants may come and go as they please. Frost said these living facilities are recommended so “people are not forced to pay for a higher level of care than they need or lose their sense of independence.”
Frost said there are usually standards of living which tenants are required to meet at independent living facilities to ensure they can care for themselves. However, Frost could not speak for specific requirements of Casey Estates.
Frost said it’s imperative for family to communicate often with loved ones who live out of town.
“Regular communication, as much as possible, is important and evaluating things that come up in conversation,” Frost said. “A lot of times a family member can detect that something is not right.”
John Glover, whose ex-wife lives at Casey Estates, said in the parking lot of the apartment complex he’d seen Travis a few times in passing and the two always said hello to each other.
“He seemed like a pretty nice guy,” Glover said.
Staff Writer Rachael Griffin: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @RGriffin_Star.