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BUCKNER — More details have come to light in the disappearance and discovery of a Buckner man who was reported missing last month.

A Saturday news release from Franklin County Sheriff Dave Bartoni announced that the body of 42-year-old Alan Woolard had been found by a member of the Southern Illinois Search Team. Woolard was last seen alive around 11:30 a.m. Jan. 23, walking away from his residence in Buckner.

Bartoni said he was found approximately 250 to 300 yards from where he last was seen — he was found in a hole or pit behind a residence in town.

Previous search efforts just weren’t “looking in the right places,” Bartoni said of earlier, failed attempts to find Woolard.

Last week, a news release from Bartoni’s office said several drug arrests were made at a residential police stop related to Woolard’s disappearance. On Monday, Bartoni said that was not the residence where Woolard was later found.

“We were looking for associates to interview when the drug activity was observed,” Bartoni said in a text message.

An autopsy was scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday and Bartoni said, unless the coroner finds evidence of a physical wound on Woolard’s body, it could be weeks before a cause of death is determined.

It is too early to make any suppositions about what happened to Woolard; Bartoni said authorities will “let the evidence lead the investigation.”

While Woolard was no stranger to law enforcement — court records show a lengthy list of misdemeanors and felonies dating back to 2001, including battery and criminal trespassing — Bartoni said he heard nothing but good things about him during the investigation. People told Bartoni that Woolard was a likable guy, something Bartoni said is evident by the number of people who came out to help look for him.

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isaac.smith@thesouthern.com

618-351-5823

On Twitter: @ismithreports

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Reporter

Isaac Smith is a reporter covering Jackson County.

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