LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The years long mystery surrounding the disappearance of a construction company executive ended Thursday when Arkansas medical examiners confirmed that a skull found on a hillside in a busy state park was his.
John Glasgow had been missing since January 2008. A cellphone trace led investigators to the Petit Jean State Park, a mountaintop resort an hour from his home, but weeks of searching revealed no clues.
"Time has worn off some of the raw edges, but this event has kind reopened the wounds," Roger Glasgow, the dead man's brother, said at a news conference. Roger Glasgow said he suspects foul play.
Conway County Sheriff Mike Smith said hikers found a skull Wednesday afternoon about 150 yards off Red Bluff Drive in the park. He said the state Crime Laboratory in Little Rock received the skull Thursday morning and identified it as John Glasgow's.
Glasgow, the chief financial officer of CDI Contractors LLC, was last seen leaving his Little Rock home on the morning of Jan. 28, 2008. A tourist's photo showed that by that afternoon, his SUV was parked outside the Mather Lodge at Petit Jean State Park. No other signs of Glasgow had been found since.
The firm, owned by Dillard's and the estate of co-founder Bill Clark, built or remodeled many of Dillard's 300-plus department stores and put up some of Arkansas' signature projects, including former President Bill Clinton's library and the headquarters of Heifer International.
A search crew of 20, aided by dogs, was dispatched Thursday to the area where the remains were found, but the search was suspended due to poor weather.
Arkansas Parks official Tim Scott said that about 85 percent of the park had been searched when Glasgow went missing. Red Bluff Drive runs atop a ridge in a remote, largely undeveloped area of the park, which is named for a legendary female traveler named Adrienne who disguised herself as a cabin boy named Petit Jean so she could follow her beau from France to the New World.
The park posted a notice on its website Thursday that several trails near Red Bluff Drive were closed, but didn't tell visitors why.
Glasgow was legally declared dead in 2011.
Judge H. Vann Smith wrote at the time that "The circumstantial evidence of John's death is substantial. John has been missing for three years without any credible information surfacing in that period that would suggest he might be alive somewhere."
In that same year, a twice-convicted felon named Jonathan Brawner told his lawyer and the Little Rock Police Department that he knew where Glasgow's body was buried. Brawner said that he had been recruited by "thugs from Malvern" to whom he owed money to help bury Glasgow in a bean field near England in Lonoke County.
The bean field was searched, but no remains were found.