Details of Disappearance
Fortson and his nephew, Huey "Eddie" Hazelrig, were last seen together in Cleveland, Alabama on November 3, 1998. They lived together and often worked together putting up wallboard. They did a job that day and returned home by 3:30 p.m., after which time Hazelrig placed a long-distance call.
The two men left home afterwards to go check on a car; Hazelrig collected antique cars. They may have been carrying about $3,000 in cash at the time. They were last seen at a tire store on U.S. 231. The two men never returned home and neither of them have ever been heard from again.
That evening, police found Hazelrig's gray 1984 Isuzu pickup truck on fire along Warrior Valley Road in Etowah County, Alabama. By the time the fire department responded to the scene, the vehicle had been completely destroyed. Authorities were able to determine no one had been inside the truck when it was burned, and they didn't find any blood, but the fire destroyed any other clues.
Rumors have circulated that Fortson and Hazelrig were both homicide victims, and their family members believe they did meet with foul play. Both men had arrest records, but Hazelrig had never been convicted of a crime and Fortson only had some alcohol-related misdemeanor convictions. Their cases remain unsolved.