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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

Police search for man who knew victim found in car
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Ricky Dodson

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Authorities in two counties are searching for a missing Henry County man who is a known associate of the woman whose remains were found in a burned vehicle in Franklin County.

"We are seeking the public's help" to locate Ricky Eugene Dodson, Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry said.

Dodson, 51, of Bassett, was reported missing early this month by his mother, said Henry County Sheriff's Capt. Eric Winn.

He reportedly was seen with Vicky Harbour Purdy "a couple of days before her disappearance," Franklin County Sheriff's Lt. Philip Young said.

Dodson "is not a suspect at this time. We just want to speak to him simply because" Dodson was seen with Purdy before she disappeared, Young said.

Purdy, 53, was identified through DNA tests after her remains were found Oct. 6 in a burned vehicle on Philpott Road in Franklin County, near the Henry County line. She was last seen by her husband on Oct. 3, authorities have said.

Dodson was last seen Oct. 2 or 3, authorities have said.

A white male, Dodson has brown hair and green eyes. He is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs about 158 pounds, authorities have said.

"We are checking known associates of Dodson's and any possible locations that he frequents. We are getting his picture out in the media to try to solicit help" from residents or anyone who may recall seeing Dodson, Winn said.

By Monday, Winn said he was not aware that any calls had been received with information about Dodson, but he hoped that would change with additional media coverage.

Henry County authorities are assisting with the investigation into Purdy's death, which is being handled by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.

Perry said it is critical to locate Dodson.

"He could be hurt or injured himself, and he may be in need of medical treatment, or he could have crucial information about Ms. Purdy's last hours," Perry said.

There also is a possibility that Dodson could have met a similar fate, the sheriff said.

However, that is "an unknown at this point," Perry said. "She could be the only victim, or they both could be victims."

Anyone with information in Henry County is asked to call the Henry County Sheriff's Office at 638-8751, or Crime Stoppers at 63-CRIME (632-7463). Crime Stoppers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information related to crimes. The amount of any reward is determined by the substance of information provided and the nature of the crime.

In Franklin County, call Lt. Todd Maxey at (540) 483-6601.


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