ELLIS COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Authorities have found the body of a Kansas man who went missing Wednesday afternoon during the worst of the windstorm and the start of the wildfires.
Derrick Scott Kelley’s fiance, Tabitha Russell, reported his disappearance after he did not show up for work.
The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office says Kelley, 36, of Natoma, was last seen around 11th and Ash Street in Hays around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. He was heading to an address in Natoma and was planning to travel country roads.
That is right in the middle of what became the “Four County Fire” that burned across nearly 400,000 acres Wednesday afternoon into Thursday.
On Friday, searchers found his body east of Codell Avenue in rural Ellis County near his burned-out vehicle.
Kelley’s fiance was notified early Friday afternoon. She said her family is grieving but is thankful for those who helped search.
“We appreciate all the effort out there,” Russell said. “We’re just hoping, you know, that he went quickly and that everything will work out.”
Funeral services will be at Brock’s-Keithley Funeral in Hays on Wednesday, Dec. 22 at 11:30 a.m.