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Body found in Ohio River could be missing Proctorville man

Published 9:45am Tuesday, May 22, 2012

PROCTORVILLE — The search for a missing Proctorville man may turn into a murder investigation.

Sunday night the body of a man was recovered from the Ohio River near Glenwood in Mason County, W.Va., and sent to the West Virginia Medical Examiner’s office.

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless was hoping the identification could have been made on Monday but the medical examiner wasn’t able to verify that with the medical records he had.

“He wasn’t able to confirm it with the hospital,” Lawless said Tuesday morning. “We are hoping it will happen today. We feel strongly it is Mr. Lawson. It is a case of foul play. As far as the details, I can’t give the details yet.”

Alan Lawson, 41, was reported missing by his wife, Paula, on April 30, two days after he left their Proctorville home to check on rental property in Ironton.

On May 3 the 1999 blue Ford Taurus he had been driving was found in the 1900 block of James River Road in Huntington, W.Va., by Huntington Police Department. It has been left in a parking lot of a ball field. The car was searched by Lawrence County Sheriff’s detectives. Lawless said at the time there were no signs of foul play in the car.

James River Road is in the Westmoreland section of Huntington, across the Ohio River from Burlington. Paula Lawson told authorities that her husband was to have met a woman in South Point who wanted to look at a car Lawson was selling. Lawson and the possible buyer were to have met at a parking lot in the South Point Food Fair. Lawson’s wife said the buyer told her that Lawson did not show up.

Lawless declined to give a cause of death for the man whose body was retrieved from the river on Sunday.

“Detective from the Huntington Police Department, the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and the West Virginia State Police are working in cooperation to investigate,” Lawless said.

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