Family Of Missing Man Expects Death - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Family Of Missing Man Expects Death

Bernadette Jay
Eyewitness News Reporter

Tony Nudo
Eyewitness News Photographer

CLEVELAND (WRCB) - "It's devastating not knowing. If we could just find out something. It would make us feel a lot better," said Wilma Black.

Fighting back tears, Wilma Black is on mission to find her big brother, 73-year-old Donnie Payne. He's been missing for more than a month. Saturday in Cleveland family members continued their quest to find answers. Already they've prepared themselves for the worst.

"He's not alive. I just know he's not alive. Wherever he is, I think he's dead," said Black.

"It's not what you want to think, but it's what your forced to believe. After three weeks, four weeks, then you have to face reality of what you might find," said Lisa Lehman, Payne's niece.

Payne lived off Lowery Street in Bradley County. The doors and windows to his home were left open. According to his family, he was last seen at an apartment complex dumpster searching for soda cans. Despite their pessimism, Payne's family is pushing forward to find him.

"We've done all kinds of telephone calls. We have also come out and handed out flyers within a 10-mile radius and talked to every church around to see if they would tell their congregations," said Black.

They hope their cries for help finding Payne will not go unanswered. They believe someone knows something to help solve this missing person's mystery.

"If there is anybody anywhere that knows anything about Donny or saw anything we would appreciate if they would give us a call," pleaded Black.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Donnie Payne, call the Bradley County Sheriff's Office at 423-728-7339.

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