Man Found Dead in Waid Park Had ‘Gentle and Loving Spirit’

FRANKLIN COUNTY – A man reported missing by family members Saturday, April 17, 2021 was found dead a short time later by authorities and first responders on a trail in Waid Recreation Park.

Conner-Bowman Obituary picture of Sayles.

The body of Jonathan Sayles, 65, of Rocky Mount was found around 8:40 p.m. by Franklin County Fire and Rescue units, according to Sergeant Megan Huston with the Franklin Co. Sheriff’s Department.

Sayles had been reported missing around 7:20 p.m. Saturday by family members who called 9-1-1 reporting that Sayles hadn’t returned home at the time he normally does. Franklin County Public Safety’s Special Operations Unit responded to the area.

The park is located west of Rocky Mount off of Six Mile Post Road in Franklin County and has many trails and open fields along with playground equipment.

No foul play is suspected, Huston said. There is no threat to the community.

A private memorial will be held at a later date in Genesee, Wisconsin according to Conner Bowman Funeral Home and Crematory in Rocky Mount, the funeral home handling arrangements for the family.

In his obituary, Sayles is described as having a “gentle and loving spirit”.

“Even though he had much sorrow in his lifetime, Jon was a God-filled, fun-loving, and good-natured person,” the obituary states.