Missing Paraglider Found Dead in Milam County

By: KBTX/KWTX Staffs Email
By: KBTX/KWTX Staffs Email

The paraglider missing in Robertson and Milam Counties since Sunday afternoon has been found dead in Milam County near US 190 and CR 202, according to DPS.

The body of 50-year-old Don Bayliff was found by a DPS helicopter just before 3:00 p.m. Monday.

Making a pit stop for fuel, a Department of Public Safety helicopter and the law enforcement personnel inside it continued their quest Monday to find a missing man.

"Anything north of Rockdale, NW towards Temple, all the way up to Falls County, it's a very large area," said Department of Public Safety Sergeant David Yarborough.

A very large area --- which makes for the perfect environment to breeze through the sky. Authorities say a group of paragliders competing in the LoneStar Championships launched from the Hearne Municipal Airport around 1:30 Sunday; they would then fly through Rockdale, into Cameron, and then back to Hearne, but Mother Nature had plans of her own.

“A storm came through and they decided to call the race around 3:30 or 6 they called the race and they asked all of the paragliders to descend, and they recovered all of the paraglider except for one," said Yarbrough.

Bayliff, who's believed to be from Atlanta Georgia, never made it back.

“Most of the time when someone goes down in a situation like this, he would walk to a road if he was in good shape and contacted somebody,” said Yarbrough.

But even after several hours -- no word from Bayliff.

"We even tried calling his cell phone, but no answer," said Yarbrough.

Concentrating west of Cameron in rural Milam County and in Robertson County, authorities began their search just after 4 Sunday -- it was called off at dark -- but resumed early Monday morning with support from the air. That search ended after more than eight hours Monday -- authorities in the air discovered Bayliff's body in a pasture near US 190 and County Road 202 in Milam County.


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The search for a paraglider missing since Sunday afternoon was set to resume Monday morning in Milam County.

Department of Public Safety Sgt. David Yarbrough said Don Bayliff, 50, who's believed to be from Atlanta, Ga., was first reported missing at around 4 p.m. Sunday.

Bayliff was participating in a paragliding contest that left Hearne, flew to areas around Rockdale, Cameron and back to Hearne.

Yarbrough said Bayliff was last seen wearing a red shirt and khaki shorts.

His paraglider, an un-powered aircraft, is primarily blue with black and white markings.

Yarbrough said the search Monday would be concentrated west of Cameron in rural Milam County and in Robertson County.

DPS deployed an aircraft on Sunday and several ground units from DPS and the Milam County Sheriff’s Office searched until dark Sunday but didn’t find Bayliff.

The DPS aircraft and several DPS ground units were headed to Milam County Monday morning to continue their search.

The para-gliding contest is an organized event that Yarbrough said has taken place before n the area.

The Sunday event was called off at around 3:30 p.m. because of concerns about weather but Bayliff didn’t make it back to the Hearne starting point, which caused event organizers to begin a search.

When that effort was unfruitful, organizers notified the Milam County Sheriff’s Office, which in turn notified DPS to begin their search.

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