PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The family of a missing 76-year-old Cornelius man is not giving up hope he will be found.
Ralph Brown has been missing since May 16. He was seen leaving his home near the 600 block of S 12th Avenue in Cornelius that day. Family said he was in a 2014 Blue Nissan Sentra with Oregon license plate number 319KQV.
Brown has memory issues. He is 5’10”, 210 lbs., has gray hair with blue eyes, and is missing the tip of his right-hand index finger.
His daughter, Laurie Saunders, lives in West Virginia. She said she finally got a hold of him and he told her he was “literally in the bushes. He’s a runner and that means a lot of things to a lot of people.”
She said he doesn’t carry a phone charger. “He hasn’t picked up for any of the sheriff’s office, myself. We tried all night until Monday and it started going to voicemail.”
Saunders added she was coming to Oregon for her mom’s surgery to help out. “I told him on Sunday before all this happened, I said, ‘Dad, I am going to be there to spoil you.”
Friend Angella Graves said the clues have dried up.
“There is no credit card activity. The phone has been dead on May 16, he probably had a little bit of cash on him but its unknown and we are concerned,” Graves said. “He hasn’t had his heart medication and memory medication.”
Washington County Sheriff’s Sgt. Danny PiPietro said there’s not a central location where Brown was last seen.
“We’ve checked his phone. Unfortunately his GPS doesn’t have a tracker on it,” DiPietro said. “What we are asking is any help from community members pretty much in the Portland metro area, down the I-5 corridor, even up north past Vancouver. We are suspecting he may have gone to Newberg or possibly to the coast, Astoria area. We dont have concrete evidence saying one way or another.”
His son, Daryle Brown, said the experience is numbing.
“We are not really sure what to do,” Brown said. “We really think he was going to Astoria and went the wrong way.”
DiPietro said Oregon does not have a “Silver Alert” system.
“There are protocols each law enforcement agency has to take in order to get information out to the public and the media related to any individual who would fall under what people know as the Silver Alert,” he said. “But unfortunately there is no silver alert system that would act like the Amber Alert system where pings would go up on peoples phones, you’d get the alert on your phone, it’s going to go on billboard on the highways. We have to rely heavily on community members and media to get information out.”
Call the Washington County Sheriff at 503.629.0111 if you have seen him. If you would like to volunteer email: firstname.lastname@example.org.