BLACKFOOT — Law enforcement officers in Yuma, Arizona are outright stumped as to what has become of missing Blackfoot man Jack Doering.
Doering, 82, who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, went missing in the Yuma area at about 9:45 a.m. on Jan. 17 after he got ahold of the keys to his gold 2002 Chevrolet Suburban, and took off by himself from a shopping center where he and his wife, Leah, were getting haircuts. The two Blackfoot residents have been wintering in the area since October.
“We have nothing new to report on his whereabouts and we are baffled,” said Sergeant Ryland Croutch of the Yuma County Sheriff’s Dept., during a phone interview Sunday afternoon. “I was hoping you were calling me from Blackfoot with some news [on Doering].”
Officials originally thought that Doering may be trying to make his way back home to Blackfoot.
Croutch said that the area of Yuma (dubbed the Foothills) where the Doerings were living, has a high population of elderly residents, particularly in the winter months.
“There’s a lot of ‘snow birds’ here this time of year,” Croutch said, “It’s not uncommon for an elderly person to wander or drive off, but we always find them in a day or two. It’s been three weeks and not a trace of him [Doering].
Croutch said that there has been no activity on Doering’s bank accounts. The Yuma Sector Border Patrol’s Air and Marine Division has done an aerial search of the desert and there has been no record of his vehicle going through any of the ports of entry into Mexico.
“Not one law enforcement agency in the country has run a check on his plates,” Croutch noted. “There’s just no sign of him or his vehicle. Doering’s vehicle license plate number IDAHO 4BB8469 is listed in the National Crime Information computer system.
Croutch said that there was a recent report from Aberdeen, Idaho of a vehicle matching Doering’s Suburban, but the plates did not match. “We know that people are aware that he [Doering] is missing and they are looking,” he said.
Croutch said that his most optimistic hope right now is that Doering became separated from his vehicle and that he is an unidentified patient receiving care in a hospital somewhere. “We will continue to search for him and follow up on any tips regarding his whereabouts,” he said.
Doering’s wife, Leah, remains in the Yuma area, awaiting any word on her husband.
Anyone with information on Doering is urged to call the Yuma County Sheriff’s Department at 928-783-4427 or the Blackfoot Police Department at 208-785-1234.