FORT COLLINS - Nearly a week after he disappeared, a 64-year-old Fort Collins man with dementia was still missing Friday afternoon, police confirmed.
Officers are looking for George Gosden and following up on "any tips" that come in locally, Fort Collins Police Services spokesman Matthew Johnson said. Those at FCPS also have asked agencies within Colorado and surrounding states for assistance in the search.
Family members last saw Gosden Saturday evening at his Fort Collins home, in the 2800 block of Eastborough Drive. He and his wife, Eiko, had moved in with their son, Hiro, one of their three children.
The night of the Army veteran's disappearance, members of the Larimer County Search and Rescue Team and their search dogs were called out. FCPS sent officers on foot and in vehicles. They canvassed areas around his home; calls for help went out on social media and were shared by media outlets across the Front Range.
On Monday, a military helicopter from F.E. Warren Air Force base near Cheyenne, Wyoming, helped in the search, flying above Fort Collins and surrounding communities.
The approximate cost for the two-hour flight is $4,000. Though Lt. Christen Ornella noted: "this mission was accomplished at no additional cost to the government as we were able to redirect planned training sortie to this real-world SAR (search-and-rescue) mission."
Johnson told the Coloradoan previously it's unusual for a person to go missing this long; typically, he said, people are found within a "relatively short period of time." Asked Wednesday at what point the police agency would start scaling back resources, if at all, Johnson said: "That is a very difficult question for me to answer. Because of the number of variables in an investigation like this one, I don't have any insight on what the future will hold.
"We don't have a point where we stop working on the case, we continue to work at it as long as there are reasonable avenues of investigation which are available to us and while our efforts bear a plausible expectation of success."
On the Facebook page "Find George Gosden," family members gave tips to those who asked how best to interact with Gosden, should they find him. They said Gosden is most comfortable talking about his military background and may not fully respond to someone calling his name.
They suggested speaking softly and calmly.
Madeline Novey covers education. Reach her at (970) 416-3955; on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/madelinenovey; or on Twitter at @MadelineNovey.
Have information about George Gosden's disappearance?
Those with information that may help police locate Gosden should contact Fort Collins Police Services at (970) 221-6540. Detective Jim Lenderts is the lead investigator in the case.
Dementia and wandering
More than 60 percent of those with dementia will wander; many do so repeatedly. If not found within 24 hours, up to half of wandering individuals will suffer serious injury or death. Those who care for people with dementia should consider the following tips to reduce wandering:
• Provide opportunities for the person to engage in structured, meaningful activities throughout the day.
• Make sure the person gets enough exercise, which can help reduce anxiety, agitation and restlessness.
• Place deadbolts either high or low on exterior doors.
• Ensure all basic needs are met (e.g., toileting, nutrition, thirst).
• Carry out daily activities, such as folding laundry or preparing dinner.
• Reassure the person if he or she feels lost, abandoned or disoriented.
• Control access to car keys (a person with dementia may not just wander by foot).
• Avoid busy places that are confusing and can cause disorientation, such as shopping malls.
• Do not leave someone with dementia unsupervised in new surroundings.
• Visit alz.org/safety to learn about services such as MedicAlert and Alzheimer's Association Safe Return, which assist in the return of people who wander. Alzheimer's Association Comfort Zone also monitors a person's location.
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