Garland Sims Warren disappearance: 2 arrested as search continues for missing Laurens County man

Garland Sims Warren (Laurens County Sheriff's Office)

The search for Garland Sims Warren has intensified after his truck was found nearly 100 miles away and the arrest of two people. 

Warren has been missing from Laurens County since June 10. Authorities are hoping someone out there has the missing piece to this case. 

Garland Sims Warren reported missing 

The 82-year-old Warren was reported missing from Laurens County by his family earlier this month. He was last seen driving a black 2003 Toyota Tundra. It was the same pickup truck that had been found about 100 miles away in Spalding County. 

A Mattie's Call, Georgia's emergency missing alert for disabled or elderly persons, was issued for him. 

(Laurens County Sheriff's Office)

The search had been focusing on the Roberta area of Laurens County. 

He is 5-feet-6-inches tall, about 170 pounds, with gray hair and brown eyes. 

Garland Sims Warren’s truck found in Spalding County 

This past Friday, a Flock camera in Spalding County gave a positive ping to Warren’s missing truck. Deputies swarmed the area, eventually finding the truck parked behind the Dollar General store located along Jackson Road. 

Garland Sims Warren

Garland Sims Warren (Laurens County Sheriff's Office)

A thorough search of the area using multiple law enforcement and rescue agencies, including the use of helicopters, K-9 units, and the specialized Land, Air, and Water Search unit, was unable to locate Warren. 

"We are actively working this case, still gathering evidence, following up on leads, communicating with Sheriff Dean and his agency, and conducting interviews. My Investigators are working in partnership with Sheriff Dean and his Investigators. All have worked almost non-stop since the Flock alert. My Uniform Patrol Deputies have even been out on foot day and night searching and working in support of Criminal Investigators. Our focus is on finding Mr. Warren," said Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix. 

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Garland Sims Warren's pickup truck (Laurens County Sheriff's Office)

Meanwhile, investigators were combing over video footage of the area and canvassing the neighborhood for possible witnesses. It eventually led them to 62-year-old Robert Earnest Peppers and 56-year-old Kelly Gail Osborn. 

Investigators say Osborn admitted to following Peppers, who was driving Warren’s pickup truck. They dropped off the vehicle at the store and left the scene. The two told investigators they pulled Warren’s truck from a ditch. Several pieces of mail addressed to Warren were found at the location. 

An extensive search was also conducted in that area, but only the mail was found. A second search warrant was carried out on the property, leading investigators to items now known to be from Warren’s truck. 

Peppers and Osborn were booked into the Spalding County Jail. Both were charged with theft by receiving stolen property but are continuing to be interviewed by investigators. 

Garland Sims Warren's pickup truck spotted (Laurens County Sheriff's Office)

In a statement released on Monday, Sheriff Dix wrote: 

"We have had questions about civilians and civilian groups coming to Spalding County to search for Mr. Warren, and we have had a few reports of it. It has led to Deputies and Investigators being sent on a couple of wild goose chases by folks that mean well, but do not have the facts that we are using to conduct this investigation. All this does is move our attention away from locating Mr. Warren and slow things down because we will be having to deal with them at the same time. Even if we search an area, we may have to return to it based on new information we receive as the investigation continues and new leads are developed. Having people trample through these areas on foot, on ATV’s, with dogs, horses, and search areas on their own does not help, it can actually hinder our investigation and the gathering of pertinent evidence. If we need outside help, we have no problem reaching out to citizens and asking for help, as we did when the tornadoes came through Spalding County. The people of Spalding County have no problem lending a hand, getting involved, working hard, and helping out when asked. As of right now please hold off and let us do our jobs without interference or having to worry about any contamination." 

"I have said many times before, when an investigation is being conducted, we just can’t blurt out everything we know or do a minute-by-minute update. Cases are often slow to develop, and other times information pours in. Bottom line is that we have to find Mr. Warren, protect the integrity of the search and investigation, and we will release information when and as we can, like right now." 

Anyone with information, video footage, or other leads in Warren’s disappearance is asked to call Lt. Jeff Smith or Sgt. A.J. Hammond at the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office at 770-467-4282, the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office at 478-272-1522, or the Spalding County 911 Center at 770-229-9911