Updated:CHEAT LAKE, W. Va. —
Authorities are continuing their search Friday for a missing 79-year-old man who was last seen leaving his daughter’s Cheat Lake area home Tuesday afternoon.
According to police, search and rescue teams are using K-9 officers to assist in their ground search for Howard Nichol, who suffers from Alzheimer’s.
Nichol’s son-in-law, Herb Faulkenberry, said Nichol went for his usual walk Tuesday afternoon and never returned.
“With Alzheimer’s, a lot of times you can get into an area and it’s easy going, but confusing trying to come back,” Faulkenberry said.
Faulkenberry said his family is worried because they think Nichol simply forget his way back home.
“We’ve been looking in any building, construction site and basement of homes that aren’t finished,” Faulkenberry said.
Monongalia County Sheriff Al Kisner said crews are focusing their efforts on the 82-acre Botanical Gardens area.
“That’s where we’re really concentrating our search because the feeling is that he wouldn’t go outside that range of area,” Kisner said.
Volunteers who want to help in the search process are asked to report to the Cheat Lake Elementary School Saturday at 7:30 a.m. Officials said searches will be conducted from 8 a.m. until dark.
“Even the elderly with Alzheimer’s have a good chance of surviving for days,” search and rescuer Robert Speiden said.
Anyone with information on Nichol’s whereabouts is asked to contact police.