Missing man believed to be behind wheel of car found buried in thick brush

Wayne Thibodeau
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Joey Francis Laybolt of Howe Point, Prince Edward Island not seen since June 2

DINGWELLS MILLS – A man found dead behind the wheel of an overturned car buried in thick brush here early Thursday morning is believed to be Joey Francis Laybolt, RCMP confirmed to The Guardian.

Family members and police launched an exhaustive search for the 44-year-old Howe Point, P.E.I. man earlier this month.

Laybolt was last seen in Montague on June 2 driving a dark blue four-door Chrysler Sebring.

Thursday morning, a man on his way to work noticed what he thought was a bumper in thick brush at the corner of Highway 4 and Highway 2 in Dingwells Mills, about 15 kilometres west of Souris.

A walk into the woods discovered the overturned car on its roof.

Tragically, the man who found the car was a close friend of Laybolt’s.

RCMP Sgt. Kevin Baillie says when the friend discovered the dark blue Chrysler Sebring overturned on its roof in thick brush, about 100 meters from the highway he immediately called police.

The RCMP shutdown the highway to investigate the discovery.

“We weren’t initially able to see inside the vehicle because of the way it was upside down,” said Baillie.

“It wasn’t until the vehicle was rolled over that we were able to confirm that somebody was inside…  There was one deceased male in the vehicle.”

Police were not able to do a positive identification on the man in the car.

An autopsy will be performed on Friday. Dental records will be needed to identify the man, however police believe the man is Laybolt.

The family has been notified.

Throughout the day, condolences poured in to online news sites expressing shock and sadness over the tragedy.

An inspection of the vehicle, which was not registered, will also be carried out in an effort to try to determine the cause of the accident.

The vehicle was badly damaged. Photos of the car show the front of the vehicle badly smashed, the roof bent in and the windshield shattered.

Baillie said the accident occurred at a T-intersection. He said there were absolutely no signs of an accident, no skid marks on the road nor any indications that the driver of the vehicle attempted to stop.

It is believed, police say, the car went airborne before coming to rest in the heavy brush.

Police have confirmed the Department of Transportation replaced the stop sign at the intersection on June 5.

A stop sign was found bent around the Chrysler Sebring when it was towed out of the brush Thursday morning.

“It appears that he had been there since at least June 5 or before,” said Baillie.

“I drove through that intersection twice (Thursday) going back and forth to Souris.”








Organizations: RCMP, Department of Transportation

Geographic location: Dingwells Mills

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Recent comments

  • Bim Blackett
    June 21, 2013 - 18:56

    R.I.P. Joey. You will be missed. We had some great times together when we were younger.

    • Hilary Hawkins
      June 21, 2013 - 21:38

      I dont know this young man, but I dont need to, I know its just so tragic and my heart and prayer go out to his Family and Friends...R.I.P Joey !

  • Anne MacLean
    June 21, 2013 - 10:59

    Patsy and family, So sorry to hear about Joey....our thoughts and prayers are with you. May he rest in peace.

  • tracey peters
    June 21, 2013 - 09:12

    Such a tragic loss! Dianne, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Rest in Peace Joey....you're in my thoughts my friend xo

  • Lorraine Peters
    June 21, 2013 - 06:04

    What a terrible shock rest in peace and my thoughts n prayers are with the laybolt family and with joey as well.. bless all of you!!!

  • darlene
    June 20, 2013 - 20:34

    rest in Peace my prayers goes out to the family

    • sarah fahey
      June 20, 2013 - 22:57

      sad day on the island. my prayers go out to the family. Rest in peace Joey.

  • Dean and Anna Walters
    June 20, 2013 - 15:10

    our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and relatives of Joey at this most sad time.Rest In Peace Joey. The Walters in Alberta

  • Mindy
    June 20, 2013 - 15:08

    So So tragic, this kind of accident has happen to many times where a vechicle can not be seen, like the unfortunate man that froze in Kinkora because they didn't see the car. We need to start checking ditch's more carefully when someone is missing. I hope God took him fast and he did not suffer...

  • raymond wall
    June 20, 2013 - 14:27

    Our thought's and prayer's go out to the Laybolt family.

  • Lori MacDonald
    June 20, 2013 - 14:20

    Rest easy, Joey. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  • Sharyn Mitchell
    June 20, 2013 - 13:25

    How sad for Joey and also his family. I am sure Islander's sympathies are with them at this time.

  • sympathy to loved ones
    June 20, 2013 - 13:12

    What a sad story. Poor soul.