Bonnie Fox, member of Northside Baptist Church in Selma, taped a missing person poster on the window of a Selma gas station as part of the search group that looked for Stanley Wayne Painter. The group of volunteers picked up several new leads as to Painter’s whereabouts and will continue to search until he is found. -- Ashley Johnson

Church family joins the search for missing Valley Grande man

Published 11:06pm Friday, December 7, 2012

The search continues for the missing Valley Grande resident, 60-year-old Stanley Wayne Painter, as family and friends put together a search group Friday.

Headquartered at Painter’s home church, Northside Baptist in Selma, Painter’s mother and aunt met with several church members to go over the known details in his disappearance and assemble groups to post missing flyers around town. The search party began their search with prayer and one volunteer said it must have worked.

“Only by the grace of God we got several leads throughout the day,” family friend Cathy Smith said after the search day concluded Friday.

Smith said the groups of volunteers concentrated on posting flyers in areas like the Valley Grande BP, The Fig Tree in Autaugaville where Painter used to live and the Walmart in town.

“He has a lot of great characteristics,” Smith said about Painter in the search meeting. “He is just a real lost man right now, spiritually and physically. Everybody that went to school with him said he was a fun-loving person, just a real trooper.”

Smith said volunteers picked up a lead Friday that Painter was last seen in Harold’s Grocery Store Saturday, Dec. 1 and someone described him to be in bad shape — shaking badly and his eyes were sunken in. The news came as a relief to those looking for Painter because his mother last saw him on Nov. 18 and reported him missing more than three weeks ago.

No one has heard from Painter since then, which is concerning because he used to make at least one phone call a day to his mother and his aunt. He does not own a cell phone, a car, is on disability and left his wallet and medication mysteriously in his trailer on Big Pine Drive in Valley Grande.

“I called him and said ‘I haven’t heard from you today, so give me a ring when you get this,’” Ethel Gullett said about the last time she talked to her son.

She told the group she normally drove her son around from place to place, and the week prior to his disappearance, she drove him to take out several loans at two separate locations totaling to more than $1000.

“I’m worried about him borrowing all that money,” she told the group.

Smith said she wonders if Painter took out even more money in loans thnt she knows of and wants to encourage any and all fast cash and loan stores in Selma and Dallas County to report to the Sheriff’s Department if they have seen Painter in the past month.

“The Lord has blessed us through this search,” Smith said. “We want to thank everyone who has cooperated and is helping us to find Stanley.”

Report any information about “Stan” Painter to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department by calling 334-874-2530 or Crimestoppers at 334-877-3530.

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