Saturday, November 24, 2012

Behaviors of Missing Elderly People

From Project Jason comes this article about missing elderly, focusing on those with Alzheimer's or dementia (neither of which apply to Jack Gordon). 
Brad Dennis, Director of Search Operations for the KlaasKids Foundation, outlines typical behaviors exhibited by a missing person with Alzheimer or dementia:
• Usually (89%) found within one mile of the Point Last Seen (PLS), half found within 0.5 miles.
• Subject usually found a short distance from road (50% within 33 yards)
• Subject may attempt to travel to former residence or favorite place.
• Subject will not leave many physical clues.
• Will not cry-out for help (1%) or respond to shouts (only 1% response rate).
• Succumbs to the environment (hypothermia, drowning, and dehydration).
• They go until they get stuck.”
• Subject usually found in a creek, or drainage and/or caught in briars/bushes (63%)
• Leaves own residence or nursing home, possibly with last sighting on a roadway. May cross or depart from roads (67%).
• Coexisting medical problems that limit mobility are common.
• Has previous history of wandering (72%)
• They appear to lack the ability to turn around.
These patterns formed the basis of our initial searching for Jack.  Since his vehicle was found at the home site, we focused on the area within 3/4 of a mile from the site.  Our initial thinking was that Jack had suffered a medical event of some kind.  Multiple searches over the next week did not turn up any sign of Jack. He did not turn up wandering along the road. He did not turn up at the local hospital.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Search and Rescue Team

     Based on the initial presumption that Jack Gordon had suffered some type of medical event, our first efforts focused on the immediate vicinity of the house on Luke Road, in rural Costilla County on the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley.
     Within about 36 hours of the time Jack was last seen, leaving his apartment in Fort Garland to drive out to the homesite on Luke Road, Costilla County Search and Rescue was on the scene. On Friday October 3, 2008 a general area quadrant search was undertaken by several team members on ATV's and on horseback, covering about a one mile circular perimeter centered on Jack's homesite. The searchers focused on roadways and trails, not much off road searching was done. No trace of Jack was found.
     On Sunday, October 5, 2008 a close interval line search was carried out by about 30-40 volunteers under the direction of the SAR team covering a radius of about 1/3 mile without results.
     On Monday, October 6, 2008 an air tracker dog team was brought in and performed a search for about a 1/4 mile perimeter. No trace of Jack was found away from the house.  Individual searches were also carried out on two other five acre properties that Jack owned in the area, with no trace.
     These satellite views from Google Earth mapping services show the general area of the events. For a wider perspective, check here.
     On this map, the dark red square is an approximation of Jack's five-acre property, the pink inner circle is the area covered by the close interval search, and the lighter outer circle is the approximate perimeter covered by the general area search (one mile radius from Jack's place).

     The second pushpin is the house of Jack's neighbor John, who was mentioned in the original police report. That house is just over 1/2 mile from Jack's house. Oddly enough, the neighbor John has not been seen in the Fort Garland area since the day Jack disappeared.  His mother told the Sheriff that he moved out of the state. We don't know if the Sheriff ever contacted him.  We don't know if he knows anything about that day.

RE-POSTED 11/21/2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Jack Gordon- Brief Biographical Profile

Jack Nels Gordon
1/07/1931 to 10/02/2008

Born in Ohio in 1931, Jack Gordon attended high school in Stow, Ohio along with his two brothers. He went on to Hiram College near Cleveland, where he played collegiate football. Throughout his life he worked in a wide variety of fields, ranging from business to youth ministry.

He was married three times, with a total of nine children. He had four daughters and a son with his first wife. He had two daughters with his second wife. Then, When he was in his early 70's he and his third wife had a daughter and a son.  At the time of his disappearance his youngest son and daughter were 4 and 5 years old respectively.

Jack didn't leave much of an internet footprint, although in 2006 he was inducted into the William H. Hollinger Athletic Hall of Fame (Hiram College), linked here.

For several years before his disappearance, Jack was essentially retired, although he always had various projects in mind. He was in the process of building a house on a five-acre lot in the Forbes Sangre de Cristo Ranches.  He also was working on a project called Thanksgiving Hill College, a self-accredited curriculum of religious studies for foreign students.

NEXT: The events of October 2, 2008, Police Incident Report

REPOSTED 11/8/2012