By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff
The missing Todman Peak senior citizen who has early-stage Alzheimer’s disease may have left his home in search of his late wife, family members say.
Eighty-three-year-old Walter Todman – a former bellhop at the Moorings – buried his wife on September 8 and went missing a week later.
Family members told BVI News the couple did not have children and had lived together on their family-owned estate up till Mrs Todman’s death.
“Some people seem to think that he may have missed her (his deceased wife) and he has gone off looking for her,” Gracie Hodge, Todman’s sister said.
“It is the first time he has done that. He usually walks around, but somebody would normally be with him.”
The Alzheimer’s disease widower left his abode in the rain a few hours after his caretaker left for the night, last Friday, September 14.
“He just isn’t thinking straight. I don’t even know what to think, I can’t imagine where he could have gone. He left no trace and it is frightening … I am just praying for his safe return,” Hodge added.
Hodge said she along with other family members started searching for the elderly man immediately after learning that he was not at home.
She said they drove in the immediate surrounding communities until 11 pm that night.
The search continued on Saturday and Sunday with the assistance of local police, the Virgin Islands Search & Rescue team, and other volunteers.
Persons with drones also came to assist in trying to locate the missing elder. However, with the dense bushes combined with the limited capabilities of the drones, spotting Todman in his green shirt and black jean pants has proven to be a difficult task.
Meanwhile, Second District Representative Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull was spotted among the search team.
“I’m here just as a friend of the family, not as district representative,” he told BVI News during unsuccessful Sunday’s search.
“Hopefully, he is ok. Hopefully, he is in good health, and, hopefully, we find him well and alive.”
Get familiar with Alzheimer’s
In light of the events, Turnbull is now urging persons to become familiar with the Alzheimer’s disease.
“It’s not something that we want to wish on somebody but it is something that is real. The more knowledge we have about it, the more that we could help persons, I think it will make the whole community better.”
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that affects the memory and other mental functions.
Todman is dark in complexion, has a white beard and has a slim build. He is about 5 feet 3 inches tall.
Persons who may have information on the whereabouts of the elder can contact the police at 311.
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