updated 5:39 PM UTC, Jun 5, 2020

Lufkin man’s body found in hunting club

by Emily Waldrep

The body of a 79 year old man found in Billams Creek hunting club off of County Road 2975 in Rockland, Texas, is thought to be the body of Lufkin resident Arthur Henry Foster, pending DNA confirmation.

On Thursday, August 8 at approximately 5 p.m the communications department received a call stating that a 1997 model silver Dodge Dakota pickup truck had been found in the woods with a dead body inside.

According to Chief Deputy Phil Ryan and Sheriff Bryan Weatherford of the Tyler County Sheriff's Department, Captain Sturrock, Chief Steven Sturrock, Federal Park Ranger Mike Hughes, Deputy Rossi Carruth, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Officer Ryan Eddings and Bradley Mosely all responded to the call.

The vehicle was located approximately 2 miles down a skidder trail at the end of a dead end road, and military equipment from the Tyler County Sheriff's Department had to be used to reach the pickup. When they arrived, investigators saw that the vehicle was stuck in the sand, wedged between some small trees, and the body of a white male was inside.

"It looks like the man drove into the woods and got stuck," Ryan said.

The truck was registered to Mary Lee Foster of Lufkin, Texas. Tyler County dispatch reported that the vehicle was being driven by Arthur Henry Foster, 79, of Lufkin when he went missing on June 1, 2013. He had reportedly been suffering from dementia and diabetes.

The Justice of the Peace Pct. 1 Trisher Ford held the inquest at the scene and ordered an autopsy to be performed.

Several items at the scene, such as a wallet and identification, led investigators to believe that the body belongs to Henry, but DNA evidence has yet to confirm the identity of the body.

"There was no way that anyone would have looked for a missing person in that region," Ryan said. "It's a road that leads to a residence that then leads through a gate, down a skidder trail and then turns into nothing."

The Tyler County Sheriff's Department hopes that DNA evidence will confirm Henry's identity and the family can get some closure.

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