Taxi driver turns up in Florida

August 25, 1997


Staff Writer

A Turner's Taxi driver who disappeared in July has been found in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., Hagerstown City Police said Sunday.

Kenneth Wayne Bradford, 29, appears to be safe, but the circumstances that led him from a taxi cab the night of July 23 to a Florida beach remain as much a mystery as ever, authorities said.

Sgt. Steven Bussard said the Jacksonville Beach (Fla.) Police Department informed Hagerstown authorities on Sunday that Bradford was found. But he added that he does not know when or where he was discovered.

Authorities across the country were searching for Bradford, who was reported missing by the cab company. Since no criminal charges were ever levied against him, Bussard said he was not arrested and will not be returned to Hagerstown.


Members of Bradford's family said Sunday night that they had not been told he has been located but added that they are relieved to hear he is safe.

"Nobody's ever told us," said Bradford's mother, Carolyn Hawthorne. "I'm glad to hear that then."

Christina Bradford, the cabbie's sister, said it was news to her, also. However, she said she was not surprised since the cab was found abandoned in Myrtle Beach, S.C., a week after his disappearance.

"I knew he was probably heading down toward that way," she said.

Bradford said she had heard numerous reports over the last few weeks that her brother was seen in Hagerstown, but she attributed those to mistaken identity. She said she was happy her brother seemed all right, but still had no idea what would make him leave without a trace.

"This has been his home, around here and stuff. That's why it was a shock to everyone," she said.

Bradford had been working for Turner's Taxi for about three weeks in July when he radioed the company's dispatcher at about 9 p.m. He informed the company that he was taking three men from Noland Village to Queens, N.Y., and told officials that he had taken the $450 payment up front.

Bradford failed to return, however, and the company reported him missing to the Hagerstown Police Department. The cab was later found abandoned in the parking lot of the airport at Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Police detectives said they could find no evidence of foul play and a Turner's official said the mileage on the vehicle indicated that it could not have made the trip from Hagerstown to New York and then down to South Carolina.

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