Body of Kenneth Gatlin found four days after he walked away from a care facility in Pratt

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Pratt County emergency responders set up road blocks in an area where the body of a missing Pratt man was found just after noon on Monday, April 12.

A 68-year-old man, Kenneth Gatlin, who had been missing since last Thursday and for whom a statewide Silver Alert had been issued, was found deceased Monday just after noon, approximately 1/4 mile from a rural roadway in a pasture fence-line on the Northwest side of Pratt.

Gatlin, who moved from Colby to Pratt a year ago and was a resident at Parkwood Village, was reported missing from the care facility at 401 Rochester Street in Pratt, on April 8.

According to an official news release from the Pratt Police Department, Gatlin, who suffered from dementia, walked away from the facility between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. last Thursday. An immediate search was begun by Pratt Police Officers, Parkwood Village staff members, Gatlin's family members who live in Pratt, and community volunteers. A Silver Alert was issued statewide soon after and area law enforcement agencies joined the attempt to locate Gatlin.

At approximately 12:17 p.m. on April 12, an unidentified Pratt County landowner discovered the body of a deceased elderly man in a pasture fence-line on his property near the intersection West 1st Street and NW10th Ave. The man was identified as Kenneth Gatlin. Cause of death is not suspected to be the result of foul play and is still pending autopsy results.

Via news release, the Pratt Police Department extended condolences to the Gatlin family and thanked the many volunteers who aided in searches for Gatlin in all parts of the city, all hoping to find a more positive outcome.

Gatlin's brother and sister-in-law, Terry and Michelle Gatlin, said that although they were very saddened to find out that Terry's brother had passed on, they were joyful he was now whole and perfect in his eternal home.

"Our entire family will be forever grateful for the outpouring of love and support during the search for Kenneth," Michelle Gatlin said. "The police force, sheriff’s department and hundreds of community volunteers all worked tirelessly in the search. Lastly, the staff of Parkwood Village loved on our dear brother these past months - we are very grateful he had this time in such a warm and loving environment. There is no blame for the circumstances, it just unfortunate and the Gatlin family does not feel anything different could have been done. It truly made us realize what a great community we live in to have this outpouring of support for a man most of our community had never met."