"This is a painful and grievous conclusion for the Petitioner and family of John Glasgow to reach. They above all others would like to see some glimmer of hope that John was alive. She and they, however, have faced the reality that he is in all likelihood not alive," states the petition, filed for Melinda Glasgow by Little Rock attorney Nate Coulter (PDF).
John Glasgow's brother, Little Rock attorney Roger Glasgow, told ArkansasBusiness.com that he and his six remaining siblings were all supportive of Melinda in her petition for a death declaration.
"I expect that all of the siblings will sign waivers ... so that the proceedings can move forward," Roger Glasgow said.
The petition recounts the familiar story of Glasgow's mysterious disappearance. The longtime CFO of CDI Contractors was last seen driving away from his home early on the morning of Monday, Jan. 28, 2008, and his vehicle was found the next day parked outside Mather Lodge in Petit Jean State Park. Extensive searching as well as reviews of surveillance video turned up no more clues, nor has widespread publicity about the search.
"For three years, no member of John's family, nor any of his friends or business associates, have heard from him," the petition states. "No tips from any source have been received which would indicate that he is alive somewhere. Except for his vehicle being found at Petit Jean, John Glasgow disappeared without a trace."
The petition acknowledges that state law presumes someone is dead if he has been missing for five years, but it also notes legal precedent for proving death through circumstantial evidence before the presumptive period had expired.
"The circumstantial evidence of John's death is substantial," according to the petition, and includes the fact that he "took nothing with him on the morning he disappeared except the clothes on his back and what small amount of money he had in his wallet." Since his disappearance, "John has drawn no funds from his bank accounts and took no money from the safe at his home. He had no other sources of money by which he could have supported himself for the past three years if he had been alive."
Also filed was an affidavit in support of the petition by LaDonna Meredith of Rogers, founder of a nonprofit advocacy group for missing persons called Let's Bring Them Home.
According to the petition, Glasgow had "absolutely no motive to disappear." He was financially secure, had no debt, had no history of depression or mental health issues, and had a "very stable, loving relationship with his wife and family."
Roger Glasgow said the five-year period for automatic presumption of death was a legal standard that dated back at least a century. "Things move much quicker these days," he said.
Even so, Coulter's petition said Melinda Glasgow would follow the existing law by publishing a notice warning John that he had 60 days to contest the petition. Coulter also filed an affidavit (PDF) explaining that he would have to publish a warning notice because it was "impossible" to serve John Glasgow with the petition directly.