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Missing man's family still hoping for answers
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Keith Fetter is shown before his disappearance in 2008. Today marks the fifth anniversary of the day he went missing. His family said they believe he has died, and they hold out hope that answers will be found. (File photo)

Friday, May 24, 2013

By GINNY WRAY - Bulletin Staff Writer

Five years after her estranged husband went missing, Jennifer Fetter believes he has passed away.

But that has not lessened her family’s desire to learn what happened to him.

“We’ll just keep waiting and hoping somebody will come up with some information,” she said. “... Five years is a long time.”

Today is the fifth anniversary of when Keith Fetter left Jennifer’s house with a friend and another couple. He was agitated at the time, Jennifer and her daughter Amanda said in a 2010 interview.

On May 24, 2008, Amanda and Jennifer saw the car Fetter was in stop up the road and someone get in and out, they said at that time. Soon afterward, the others returned without Fetter and said he had jumped out of the car at the stop sign and had run into the woods.

That was at the intersection of Wingfield Orchard Road and Mathews Mill Road in western Henry County. Witnesses told the Henry County Sheriff’s Office that Fetter was seen walking into a wooded area there, but searches failed to turn up any trace of him, officials said at the time.

Divers also searched the water near Philpott Dam without luck.

There has been no trace of him since then, Jennifer Fetter said this week. At first, she said she would call the sheriff’s office and leave messages seeking information, but investigators had nothing to go on and she heard nothing, she said.

“It’s very frustrating” not knowing what happened to him, she added.

Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry said Fetter’s disappearance remains an active case.

“Based on how the incident was reported, how it came about, the searches and information on the past history, it is believed that something happened to him,” Perry said Thursday. “The question is was it something of natural circumstances and ... the body just hasn’t been found.”

The Fetter case is one of three or four that are unresolved and are discussed regularly in his office, Perry said. Capt. Kimmy Nester primarily has worked on those cases, he added.

“They are still cases we want to solve and need to solve,” Perry said.

A lot has happened in his family since Keith Fetter vanished. His mother, Frances Fetter, died in January, never knowing what happened to her son but believing he had died, Jennifer Fetter said.

“She took it very hard. We all kind of knew from the beginning that he was gone. On her part, it was mother’s intuition,” Jennifer Fetter said.

As for herself, “we just knew” he no longer was alive, Jennifer added.

The Fetter children still want to know what happened, their mother said, referring to Amanda Fetter, now 24, Joseph Fetter, now 18, and Megan Fetter, now 16. Amanda also gave birth to the Fetters’ first grandchild, James Robert Hill, last August, Jennifer said.

“Pretty awful” was how she described the fact that Fetter missed the birth of his grandchild.

“Now we’re all kind of just numb,” she said. “We don’t talk about it much. With no answers, it’s just too painful to talk about it.”

The Fetters are not planning to mark today with any special observance. Jennifer said she is talking about it because she wants to keep the case in front of the public.

Perry hopes anyone with information about the case will contact his office or Crime Stoppers.

“If someone didn’t report something, please bring it forward” now, he said. “Sometimes, an old piece of the puzzle can make sense. ... Our primary objective is to get the case solved.”


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