missing-middletown-man-found-dead-in-city-park

Jan. 4—Two people walking in Gardner Park around 5 p.m. Jan. 1 found a Middletown man police had been searching for since late November, according to Sgt. Earl Nelson.

He said the missing man, Clifford Phillips, 62, was deceased and it’s unclear how long he had been lying near the park’s tree line.

Nelson said police aren’t sure if Phillips died from “a cold event or something else,” though foul play isn’t suspected. He said the Butler County Coroner’s Office was performing an autopsy.

Police started searching for Phillips, who had worked at Applebee’s in Middletown for 27 years, after he didn’t report to work on Nov. 21, according to a manager who filed the police report on Nov. 23. She became concerned because Phillips never called off work.

He checked out of the Fairfield Inn in Middletown on Nov. 10, according to the report.

Nelson said Phillips was seen in Middletown numerous times, but police were unable to make contact with him. He was reportedly in local bars, but never in Gardner Park on Gardner Place, according to Nelson.

Phillips wasn’t married and had no children, according to the report. He has one brother, but they haven’t talked in years, the report said.

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