Family Questions Man's Disappearance after Traffic Stop

Family Questions Man's Disappearance after Traffic Stop

55-year-old James Irby vanished nearly a month ago after a traffic stop in Walls. Police say Irby ran from them, and his mother hasn't seen or heard from him since.
WALLS, MS (abc24.com) - A Memphis man is missing and family members in Mississippi want answers.

55-year-old James Irby vanished nearly a month ago after a traffic stop in Walls. Police say Irby ran from them, and his mother hasn't seen or heard from him since.

Ethel Allen has no idea what happened to her son. She's begging for answers.

"I just want my son," she says. Allen hasn't heard from him since May 4th.

Irby was driving to Clarksdale from Memphis when he was stopped by a Walls police officer on Highway 61 near Church Road.

"James had called me. He told me to talk to the police. (The officer) told me he was going to give him a ticket and let him come on," Allen tells abc24.com.

That changed quickly.

Allen says her son had marijuana. The officer told her he found it and Irby started running. "He told me James had ran across the highway."

Police told Allen they tased him, but Irby didn't stop.

"He said James snatched the taser out, but kept on down through the fields running," Allen says.

Walls police declined our request for an interview. Allen thinks there is more to the story.

"James couldn't run that far on foot. He had gout real bad and he's got prostate cancer. He's 55 years old. I've had all of my grandchildren, great-grandchildren and my nephews out there walking the field (looking for him)."

"He had never left home not calling anybody," says Irby's girlfriend Tonia Bryant.

She's fed up with officers not giving them any information, "Just saying he disappeared."

"I hope this here will bring him back so they find him," Allen cries.

The family has asked DeSoto County's NAACP chapter for help. Thomas Plunkett is trying to get the state organization involved.

"It's always difficult to get information when police have an ongoing investigation," Plunkett says. "The state has had some communication with the FBI."

"I just want my baby back," says Allen.
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