Searchers find body of Jackson County man previously arrested for bringing gun into courthouse

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JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. - Search teams say they found the body of a man who brought a gun into the Jackson County Courthouse.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office says the body of Fred Swearengin was found down a bluff, about 300 yards from where his truck was found Jan. 21, at the management area at the community of Hytop. The body was found by an  Alabama Law Enforcement Agency helicopter.

“It’s a very mountainous, rural area, It’s kind of a rough terrain, it’s in a mountain so it’s a fairly rugged area,” said Jackson County Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen.

“After we got here, the state helicopter showed up, they make several loops and spotted the body,” said Scottsboro Jackson County Rescue Squad Captain Eddie Tigue.

Swearengin's family reported him missing about 3 weeks ago when they checked his house and he wasn't found. After the family filed the report, the search started for Swearengin and his truck.

“He’d been last seen on January 5, so we began a search of the area,” said Harnen.

Deputies say that a hunter spotted the truck sitting by a green field on the management area, but thought someone was hunting and left.

The sheriff’s office says they found ammo for various types of guns,  guns, survival gear, knives and swords.

Deputies at the Jackson County Courthouse shot Swearengin in September after they said he walked into the courthouse with a gun and several loaded magazines of ammunition.

“He was released from the hospital some time ago and had been recovering at home and then he went missing so it`s sad that this happened. I think he had some issues going on,” added Harnen.

Harnen thanked the Scottsboro Jackson County Rescue Squad as well as the Jackson County EMA, the Highlands Medical Center, and ALEA for their assistance Wednesday.

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