UPDATE: Missing Man in Prichard, W.Va. Found Dead

By: WSAZ News Staff; Andrew Colegrove Email
By: WSAZ News Staff; Andrew Colegrove Email

UPDATE 8/14/14 @ 10 p.m.
PRICHARD, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A family hoping they'd be rejoicing after their loved one was found is instead heartbroken.

A State Police helicopter spotted the body of a missing Wayne County man on top of a hill near US 52 in Prichard.

They say the body of Mike Lawhon, 60, was found around 5:30 p.m. Thursday night. It appears the ATV he was riding flipped over, pinning him underneath.

Family members tell WSAZ.com that Lawhon does not have much experience riding an ATV. He has only had his for about three weeks.

Lawhon is a preacher at Little Hurricane Freewill Baptist Church.

His church family says, in his last sermon a couple Sundays ago, Lawhon's words now appear to have been foreshadowing.

"It was like he had a feeling maybe his time was brief,” Pastor John Cavins said. “Basically what he was saying was ‘don't worry about me, I'll be alright. When I'm gone, don't cry, don't worry.’"

Lawhon had numerous health problems including diabetes, lung disease, and Parkinson’s, but the 60-year-old wasn't one to let his ailments hold him back. Friends say he loved going mudding in his truck.

"I think Mike did it the way he wanted to do it,” Cavins said. “I think his family would try to get him to not take some of the risks he took, but that was just part of Mike, what made him Michael."

We talked with Lawhon's son-in-law David Thompson while the search was still going on.

"He's been preaching many years," Thompson said. "He's very well liked, a very good guy in the community, great family man, really loved by his family."

Cavins says in that last sermon, Lawhon told the congregation he wanted to be remembered as
a loving husband, father and grandfather, but above all, as a dedicated Christian.

UPDATE 8/14/14 @ 6:30 p.m.
PRICHARD, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Search crews have found the body of a missing Wayne County man near an old landfill off US 52 in Prichard.

West Virginia State Police say the body of Mike Lawhon, 60, was found around 5:30 p.m. Thursday night. It appears that the ATV he was riding flipped over, pinning him underneath.

Family members tell WSAZ.com that Lawhon does not have much experience riding an ATV. He has only had his for about three weeks.

Lawhon is a preacher at Little Hurricane Freewill Baptist Church.

His church family says, in his last sermon a couple Sundays ago, Lawhon's words now appear to have been foreshadowing.

"It was like he had a feeling maybe his time was brief,” Pastor John Cavins said. “Basically what he was saying was ‘don't worry about me, I'll be alright. When I'm gone, don't cry, don't worry.’"

Lawhon had numerous health problems including diabetes, lung disease, and Parkinson’s, but the 60-year-old wasn't one to let his ailments hold him back. Friends say he loved going mudding in his truck, and he'd just gotten his first four wheeler a few weeks ago.

"I think Mike did it the way he wanted to do it,” Cavins said. “I think his family would try to get him to not take some of the risks he took, but that was just part of Mike, what made him Michael."


ORIGINAL STORY 8/14/14 @ 3:30 p.m.
PRICHARD, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Crews are searching for a man who left his home on an ATV and has not been seen in 24 hours.

Investigators in Prichard, West Virginia say that Mike Lawhon, 60, left his home on Prichard Road about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Family members tell WSAZ.com that Lawhon does not have much experience riding an ATV. He has only had his for about three weeks.

They say he has several health issues, including COPD, Parkinson's Disease, and Diabetes. They do not believe he has had an insulin shot since he left the house Wednesday.

Family members say he was last seen wearing a bright orange shirt, blue jeans and a camo ball cap.

His ATV is a 1990's model Kawasaki Prairie.

West Virginia State Police is bringing in a helicopter to do an aerial search of the area.

The Kenova Fire Department has a boat searching the river.

Crews with the Prichard Fire Department say this is a tricky search because they don't know where to start looking.

Family members tell WSAZ.com that Lawhon is a preacher at Little Hurricane Freewill Baptist Church.

We have a crew on the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WSAZ NewsChannel 3 645 Fifth Avenue Huntington, WV 25701 304-697-4780 WSAZ Charleston 111 Columbia Avenue Charleston, WV 25302 304-344-3521
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 271293701 - wsaz.com/a?a=271293701