Arthur Branham

Arthur Branham

GRAYSON - The family of Arthur Branham of Grayson said his four-day disappearance involved the 74-year-old driving disoriented from Ohio to Michigan and then being abducted by a Detroit couple demanding ransom.

According to the Kentucky State Police, Arthur Branham was reported missing Friday after he left his Damron Mayo residence in route to Hamilton, Ohio to visit a relative.

While traveling in a white 1989 Cadillac Deville, Branham became confused and called his family Friday, while stating he was “near a federal building and could see a Burger King” somewhere in the Ohio area, police said.

At that time KSP Post 14 in Ashland requested the media to report information and a photo about Branham, including information that he required medication for a heart condition.

In the meantime, Orville Ray Branham, son of Arthur Branham, said the family received two phone calls Sunday from a man and woman who claimed they had Arthur Branham and wanted “no less than a $2,000 ransom.”

The son said his father had been allegedly abducted in Michigan when a snowstorm and disorientation caused him to lose his way of travel.

“He said a man and woman stopped and asked him if he needed help,” the son told a Journal-Times reporter Tuesday.

“He told them he needed directions was out of gas. The man said he had a map and would help dad. Both the man and woman got into dad’s car and then that’s when they said they had a gun and was not going to let him go. Dad said he did not see the gun but was worried they did have one.”

Early Monday morning, Orville Branham was determined to find his father, whom he believed was being held against his will.

“They did let dad talk for moment on the phone, but it was hard to tell what he was saying,” the son said. “By that time, he had been in the car for a least a couple of days and was not given anything to drink or eat.”

The son said he traveled to Gratiot Avenue in downtown Detroit, the place where the ransom was supposed to be dropped off and where his dad was allegedly being held.

“I got there and saw dad’s car,” the son said. “There was a woman in the car with dad. The third person, a man, was not there. I did call the Detroit police and told them I was where I thought dad was.

“I told the woman I had her money. And then went over to check on dad. The police did arrive and got the woman to the side and was talking to her. To my knowledge she had not been arrested at that time. But, then a Detroit cop came over to me and said, ‘the best advice I have for you is to get out of here, it’s not a good place to be.’”

Orville Branham said he then headed back to Kentucky with his father. He said the Detroit Police did not cooperate with the family and appeared “rude and unconcerned” about his father’s alleged abduction. “I don’t’ think she was arrested,” he said. “We were told by the police to leave and we did. Right now, we’re just glad that dad is OK. Dad said the woman and man didn’t exchange names while they were in the car with him. So, we don’t know who she is or the man. And, I couldn’t get her name after I found dad because the police made us leave.”

The Journal-Times made a call Tuesday to the Detroit Police while talking with a Sgt. Marshall of the Central Detective Center. Marshall said he had no information concerning an incident involving Arthur Branham and a woman from the Detroit area.

However, Trooper First Class Elliott Gollihue of Post 14 in Ashland said Tuesday the KSP had spoken Monday to a woman from the Detroit, prior to Arthur Branham being located. The woman’s name was not available at press time.

“I cannot substantiate anything about an abduction or any ransom,” Gollihue said. “What we know is that Mr. Branham wondered off and was found in Detroit. There was a woman last night that talked to my sergeant. She said she knew where Mr. Branham was. The son did go to Detroit to get his dad.

Gollihue said the woman was arrested in Detroit Monday, but on charges not related to Arthur Branham’s disappearance.

As of Tuesday morning, Branham was back home with his family. He was asleep and not available for a phone interview. The son said once he awakened, his father would be taken to the hospital for observations. The case remains under investigation by the KSP.


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