Curiosity seekers check out Toomer's suspect's neighborhood

James Whitman
James Whitman

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

DADEVILLE, AL (WSFA) - No one answered the front door at Harvey Updyke's rented home which is located on Lake Martin in the Union community just on the outskirts of Dadeville, a place where Paul Dunmyer felt the urge to come see where the suspect lived.

Updyke faces a criminal mischief charge for poisoning the famed Oak trees at Toomer's Corner in downtown Auburn.

Dunmyer can't believe the 130-year old Oaks were poisoned. Auburn University officials hold out little hope the trees will survive.

"It makes you wonder if the rivalry has gone too far. We were curious but curious because we know the area," Dunmyer said.

James Whitman also showed up with a camera in hand. Whitman says he snapped off a few pictures for the sake of history.

Both men say they don't know Harvey Updyke who had his first court appearance this morning in Lee County.

Updyke is 62-years old.

"I went to the national championship game and I had a few rolls left so I thought this would be good for my scrapbook," said Whitman.

Harvey Updyke is a retired Texas state trooper and we're told he lived alone in the house by the lake, unknown in these parts until now.

"Can't nobody be that stupid," said Whitman.

A few miles away one of the owners of Oskar's restaurant knows of Harvey Updyke. Kent Albertson remembers seeing Updyke come in alone on a frequent basis.

"Nothing really stood out," said Albertson.

As of this writing Harvey Updyke remains in the Lee County jail on a $50,000 bond.

By all accounts Harvey Updyke kept to himself and lived a quiet life on Silver Hill Road on the lake, a peace now shattered by the allegations at Toomer's Corner.

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