Contrary to reports on Facebook, there is no clear indication that Anthony Gurley was headed to the Dallas Pride parade when he was last seen at his job in Anna, Texas on Sunday, Sept. 18.
Anthony’s mother, JoAnn Gurley, told Dallas Voice today (Monday, Sept. 26), that she last saw her son Sunday morning, Sept. 18, when he left home to go to his job at the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Anna. She said she was still in her bedroom when he called out to tell her good bye as he left the house to walk to work, but that he was probably dressed as usual — wearing a tank top or T-shirt, bike shorts and sneakers and carrying his work clothes.
“He said, ‘Bye Mom. See you later.’ That was the last time I talked to him,” JoAnn Gurley said.
When Anthony didn’t come home at the usual time, his mother said she wasn’t worried because she thought he was just working late. When she hadn’t heard from him by about 8 o’clock that night, she sent a text message. When he didn’t respond, she called and the call went straight to voicemail.
Still, she said, “we didn’t get too alarmed. I mean, he’s 43 years old, a grown man; he can do whatever he wants.” And, she added, it wouldn’t be unheard of for him to have caught a ride somewhere with a friend.
But by Monday, when Anthony still hadn’t returned any texts and calls were still going straight to voicemail, his mother decided to go to the restaurant where he worked. That’s when the manager there told her that Anthony had left work early the day before — at about 1 p.m. — saying he wasn’t feeling well. “He just recently started a new medication, and he had been having some problems with it making him feel bad,” she said.
Anthony’s coworkers at the KFC told his mother that Anthony had clocked out and walked over to the Carl’s Jr. located inside the Love’s Travel Stop nearby. He returned a short while later to check his work schedule for the week ahead, then left again. It was the last time anyone saw him, as far as his family knows.
Monday passed, and still Anthony had not returned any texts from family, and calls to his cell phone continued to go straight to voicemail. By Tuesday, when they still hadn’t heard from him, Anthony’s mother and sister grew “even more concerned,” JoAnn Gurley said. “I stopped one of our local police officers on the street here in Anna and asked how long it had to be before we could report him missing, and talked about that whole process. They told us that he’s a grown man and has a right to go off somewhere if he wants to. And we know that, but at the same time, you don’t know if he’s gone somewhere because he wanted to go, or if something is wrong. We just felt we would rather be safe than sorry.”
Although he was scheduled to work on Tuesday, Anthony didn’t show up for work, and he didn’t call in. On Wednesday afternoon, JoAnn Gurley filed a missing person report with the Anna Police. She said that police checked back with her on Thursday and when no one had yet heard from Anthony, the police entered the report into the system, including adding information to the national database.
JoAnn Gurley said one of Anthony’s coworkers at KFC told her they thought they had seen him walking “toward Sherman” — north from Anna — on Monday. But she said she doesn’t have much confidence in that report “because my son is not much of a walker, really.” She said police are checking records from his cell phone now, and that they know he talked to his brother, Chris, and to a friend, also named Chris, both on the Friday before he disappeared. During the conversation with his friend, JoAnn Gurley said, “the idea of him going to the Pride parade in Dallas on Sunday was discussed, but he never really said he wanted to go or that he was going. But maybe he did, maybe he tried to get a ride into town. We don’t know. We just don’t know anything.”
Anthony didn’t have a car, she added, so it wasn’t easy to find a ride into Dallas. Still, JoAnn Gurley said, she wanted to cover all the bases. So she and her daughter, Trasa Gurley, have posted flyers seeking information on Anthony everywhere from Oak Lawn to Sherman. “We just want to know where he is, if he is ok.”
Anyone with information is asked to call JoAnn Gurley or Trasa Gurley at 214-310-2541 or 214-901-3976, or the Anna Police Department at 972-924-2848.