Family of missing Perdido man seek closure
By By Connie Nowlin Managing editor
This will be the third year that Betty Allen has not put up a Christmas tree.
It was just before Christmas 2001 that her son, Woodrow 'Token' Allen, then 25, disappeared.
Token Allen was last seen in Nokomis, walking away from the home of an acquaintance, David Clemmons. He made the walk many times, but this time he never came home.
There were a lot of unusual events around the time of Token Allen's disappearance that may or may not be connected to that disappearance.
Betty Allen said her son had a falling out with a neighbor, Bruce Day, about that time. She said on the day her son disappeared, Clemmons had killed a deer and asked for Token Allen's help in cleaning it.
She said another friend of Token Allen's had come by earlier in the day to see him, but Token Allen was not at home. Betty Allen believes the friend had come to warn Token Allen that he was in danger.
What is known is that sheriff's deputies had come to the Allen home on Ammons Road in Nokomis on Oct. 28, 2001 to investigate a reported shooting into a vehicle occupied by Token Allen and his niece.
Token Allen disappeared Dec. 13, 2001.
On Jan. 4, 2002, Day was arrested and charged with attempted murder, possession of a controlled substance and shooting into an occupied vehicle . Clemmons was arrested at the same time, on controlled substance charges.
Day was found not guilty of the attempted murder charges, but was convicted of reckless endangerment. He was sentenced to one year in jail and fined $1,000. The sentence was handed down at the time of conviction, Sept. 18, 2002. The drug charges are still pending, according to Escambia County Court clerks.
In the meantime, the search for Token Allen petered out. There were a lot of rumors, but little solid evidence.
One of those rumors was that he had simply left the area for places unknown.
His sister, Wanda Kersey, said that just isn't true.
"We know him. He didn't just walk away from there," she said. Her mother agreed.
"He didn't take clothes, he didn't have his ID," she said, as a tear streaked her face.
She and Kersey believe that Token Allen is dead, killed by someone he knew.
What they want is to know what happened, for some closure for the family.
"We want his body to be found, and the murderer or murderers put in jail," Betty Allen said. "This has been hard, it's hard on all of us."