Family members of Carthage man found dead near Freeport describe his loss as bittersweet feeling

Family members of Carthage man found dead near Freeport describe his loss as bittersweet feeling

PANOLA COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - Joe Roy McMillian was last seen at a shop off FM 1970 in Carthage on May 21st. The Panola County Sheriff’s office said his remains were found on Thursday in a bayou near Freeport, which is south of Houston.

The glimmer of hope has faded after finding out the fate of Joe Roy McMillan. Family members describe it as a bittersweet feeling.

“We are saddened by the confirmation, but at the same time, we’re just glad to finally have some answers and to get some closure for all that has happened,” said grandson, Michael McMillian.

Panola County Chief Deputy Jeff Ivy said there is no evidence of foul play at this time, and they are still waiting on autopsy results.

“On top of that, we’re almost for certain that this happened the same day. You know, the 21st when he left abruptly,” Ivy said. “He got in the car, for some reason turned around in Carthage, and just drove straight until he couldn’t anymore,” Michael said. “That is my hypothesis, just based upon where he ended up and how no one was able to see the vehicle anywhere. And just based upon all the evidence that we have so far.”

Ivy said it appears to have been a vehicle accident in Brazoria County, but the scene is still being investigated by the Texas Rangers for confirmation.

McMillian had three children, three grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. The family said they will miss his sense of humor.

“He was a devoted grandfather. We love him so much. Every single day when we talked to him, he would want to make sure that we were okay. He was just a good, good man. A simple, good man,” said Morin McMillian, Joe Roy’s granddaughter-in-law.

“He didn’t want for much. He just wanted his family happy. He was not trying to be flashy and stuff at all. He just wanted his family,” Michael said.

Pictured is Joe Roy McMillian and his family. McMillian's body was found near Freeport on Thursday. (Source: McMillian family)
Pictured is Joe Roy McMillian and his family. McMillian's body was found near Freeport on Thursday. (Source: McMillian family) (Source: McMillian family)

The McMillian family said they would like to thank Texas EquaSearch, their private investigator Gregory L. Johnson, Operation Precious Cause, and the Panola County community for all their help along the way.

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