Tragedy is hitting an East Texas family for the third time. Saturday they remembered their son, Gaylon Bradley, as a loving man who would do anything to make people laugh and smile.
The 30-year-old blind man with a mental disability went missing a week ago Saturday. He was last seen at his grandmother's house in Longview. His family says last night officers came to their house and told them Bradley was dead. They say his body was found last night across from the old Forest Park middle school, near the 12-hundred block of Pegues Place in Longview.
The news of Bradley's body being found in a Longview creek was almost more than his family could bear.
"But now he's gone, we found him dead. That's not what I was looking for. I was praying that Lord don't let that be Gaylon please. That was my child out there laying in the river," says Gaylon's mother, Phylles Johnson.
Police told the family, Gaylon was found half submerged and wearing only his underwear.
"What happened to him? Why is he over there? What happened to his clothes? He wasn't shot so how did he die," says sister Erika Nelson.
Sadly, this family is familiar with tragedy.
"We went through this with my brother , Gaylon's dad," says Gaylon's aunt Mary Martin.
Gaylon's father, Earnest Nelson, was missing in 1993. Officials ruled his death a homicide. His case remains unsolved. In 2010, Johnson's niece, Sgyunda Williams went missing for three days. Officials found her body wrapped in a blanket near the Sabine river. Her case also remains unsolved.
"My cousin Sgyunda she didn't deserve that , she was brutally murdered," Nelson says.
They had done everything they could to alert authorities and the public.
"I had got so frustrated with the police not doing anything I started passing out flyers up and down highway 80 to anybody who'd seen my son," Johnson says.
"When something like this happens , somebody needs to stand up and say hey wait a minute , we were trying to tell y'all he was missing," says aunt Debra Reliford.
"Who's going to find out anything? If anybody out there knows anything about this, please come forward," says Martin.
Bradley's body has been sent for autopsy in Tyler. The Longview police department says they will not officially identify the body until after the autopsy is complete. Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.