Officials: 2 Bibb residents missing since June have been in Mexico

A Bibb County man and woman, co-workers at a siding company, who were reported missing in June have been found after an apparent summer-long getaway in Mexico.

Mary C. Chafin, 52, returned to Georgia on Wednesday morning, Bibb County sheriff’s investigators said. Her 43-year-old co-worker at Blair Awning & Siding Co. on Broadway, Johnny Frank Peacock, is expected to come back this week.

Chafin, a Lake Wildwood resident, was supposed to meet friends at a restaurant in south Macon on June 1. She never showed up, and a missing-persons report was filed.

Within a few days, authorities announced Peacock also was missing.

As it turns out, the pair rode to south Texas in Chafin’s gold, 2004 Toyota 4-Runner, investigators said.

“They just left. There was no reason ... other than personal reasons,” sheriff’s Capt. Mike Smallwood said. “They just left together. From what I understand, everything at work and everything in her life, she just needed a break.”

The two “went straight from Macon” and crossed the border at Brownsville, Texas, spending time in neighboring Matamoros, 20 or so miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, Smallwood said.

“They kind of ran out of money, and she was wanting to come home,” Smallwood said. “She had been talking to the family for about a week, and of course the family’s been talking to us.”

Investigators were told Chafin’s 4-Runner was stolen in Mexico.

“Our thing is, as long as they’re alive and well, that was our main concern. It seems like they are,” Smallwood said, adding that Chafin’s family expressed “mixed emotions” over her return. “They were so glad there was nothing wrong with her. Of course, they were upset ... in the dark, worried about her.”

Smallwood said the pair isn’t expected to face criminal charges.

“No crime’s been committed. Anybody 53 years old ... can pack up and leave and not tell anybody where they’re going, and there’s not a law against it. And that’s pretty much what happened in this case,” he said. “We were just making sure nothing was wrong.”

Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Joe Kovac Jr., call 744-4397.