SUMTER CO., GA (WALB) - GSP troopers have had their patrol helicopter team searching all over Americus for a man missing since close to midnight on Wednesday.
26-year-old James Fuller of Americus ran away during a traffic stop for an expired tag. His mother says he ran because his driver's license was also expired, and he was afraid to go to jail.
Fuller's family hasn't seen him since. All day Thursday, they searched the swampy area where he was last seen. Friday, law enforcement from four agencies ended up joining the search.
"On Wednesday night at approximately 11:35 p.m. an Americus police officer conducted a traffic stop here in the parking lot of the 3 Squares Diner, Mr. Fuller was the driver and he fled the traffic stop on foot," said Sergeant James Reed. "He ran through the parking lot and into the wooded area behind me."
Since daybreak, DNR agents have been wading in the high water.
"The water is about waist deep until you get out into the channel of the Muckalee and then it drops off a little bit," said Sgt. Fuller.
Americus Police and Sumter County deputies also came together in the search Fuller's family started on Thursday.
"His family came out where they hadn't heard from him for over 24 hours, and they contacted the police and we have a missing persons case at this point," said Sgt. Reed.
With the thick brush, high water from the Muckalee, and even dangerous animals, there has been no sign of Fuller.
"An officer was out there earlier this morning and saw a cat two to three times the size of a house cat," said Sgt. Reed.
The search for James Fuller is a difficult one, but law enforcement and his family both hope to find him safe.
James Fuller is a new father. His mother said that his son was born Tuesday.