John Dunn said he was going fishing by himself "near Tampa" three weeks ago. His truck was found, partially hidden, on the coast south of Cedar Key.

John Dunn left his Newnan, Georgia, home on a Thursday afternoon last month and headed "somewhere near Tampa" to spend a long weekend fishing alone.


The 40-year-old father of four hasn’t been seen since Feb. 15, when he popped into a Circle K in Inglis and used his debit card to buy energy drinks, snacks and gas.


Furthering the mystery: Levy County deputies searching for him since then say his white pickup truck later turned up parked — as if someone was trying to conceal it in a thicket of trees — not far from the boat ramp at the end of County Road 40 in the Yankeetown area just west of Inglis.


Levy County sheriff’s Lt. Scott Tummond said it’s possible that Dunn, who’s known by the nickname "Dax," simply wanted to get away. Really away.


"It is not illegal for someone to want to go off the grid," Tummond said Friday.


But that seems unlikely, given Dunn’s history, and family members on a Facebook page dedicated to finding him say that such a move would be not at all like him.



"He is a former Marine and committed to caring for his family and his country. He has never disappeared; this is completely out of character. He loves his job that he’s worked at for the last 17 years; he has never missed work," one post reads.


Dunn has four children, ages 23, 17, 15 and 10, and a wife, according to the "Find John ‘Dax’ Dunn" Facebook page. He has a professional job.


Dunn, whose home is in the county south of Atlanta, was driving a white 2013 Nissan Frontier pickup truck with license plate QFK 2741.


Deputies checked a dirt lane near the boat ramp on Feb. 27 and the truck wasn’t there; they were called March 3 about a suspicious vehicle and found Dunn’s truck nestled in the trees.


There was no evidence of foul play in or near the truck, Tummond said.


The lane, often used by locals for parking, is close enough to a small island that Dunn — had he wanted to — could have waded to it.


Detectives left the truck alone for a couple days, hoping Dunn or someone would return to it, but no one did. The truck has since been processed for evidence, and detectives are awaiting those results.


Dunn’s internet search history before the trip had zeroed in on the Cedar Key area in Levy County.


Deputies have searched by air, water and land and seen no sign of Dunn.


Anyone with information about Dunn is asked to call the Levy County Sheriff’s Office at 352-486-5111. The family has offered a $1,000 reward for information that leads to Dunn. Anonymous tips can be made by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-877-349-8477.


Dunn is a white man, about 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighs about 180 pounds. He has brown hair and hazel eyes.