The search continued on Thursday for 74-year-old Bob Walker on Oahu’s North Shore.
Walker was last seen on the Pupukea-Paumalu trail on Wednesday, May 13 around 3:45 p.m. by a mountain biker.
He was last seen wearing black shoes with red laces, a white hat with a Dallas Cowboy’s D on the front, and a Dallas Cowboy’s star on the back with a blue brim, khaki shorts, and a blue-collar shirt.
He was also last seen with two golf clubs. His daughter-in-law told KHON2 that during the stay-at-home order her husband and Walker would go to an open field about 100 yards away from the trail entrance and hit golf balls to keep him occupied.
Walker has advanced dementia and has not left the house unattended before.
Military members, lifeguards, surfers, community members, and strangers have come out to assist in the search for Walker.
“We’re just overwhelmed, just thank you everyone, it’s incredible and everyone is coming out to help co-workers, colleagues, community, friends, just everyone we know it’s just so helpful thank you,” said daughter-in-law Martin.
“I want to say there about 86 miles of trail marked but for every trail mapped there seems to be three or four that are not on the map,” explained search coordinator Chris Berquist, Search Tech Advisory Team.
“Today is day eight and we’re expanding the box a bit so we’ve definitely saturated the immediate trail system and at this point we’re doing trail analysis to look at areas that would naturally grab him such as bigger drainages and other roads that split off the trail area,” he said.
Since Wednesday, there have been numerous sightings of Walker and even a golf club was found on Kamehameha Highway near Ke Nui Rd.
“There have been a couple of false sightings and a couple of golf clubs recovered but we verified they were not his, a pair of sunglasses that we verified were not his but that’s how it goes we have to follow up on all those leads as they come in,” Berquist explained.
Berquist said the family hasn’t been able to locate Walker’s white left golf glove, black COVID mask, reading glasses and cloth case and wallet. Those items were believed to be on Walker when he went missing.
“Elderly dementia patients do not negotiate obstacles well and so they’ll often come to a feature and stop, such as a stream crossing, gate, fence or fallen tree so we often see them standing in front of or laying in front of those obstacles,” Berquist explained.
He said dementia patients have been known to let themselves into buildings.
“So, we’re clearing every building with an unlocked door that’s in our area, checking under culverts, checking abandoned vehicles and shelter areas because it’s not uncommon for them to let themselves in what feels like a familiar place and then continue to exist there,” he said.
Searchers are asking people who were in Pupukea on May 13, to call search leaders Summer Martin 909-228-8735 or Crimestoppers at 955-8300.
Martin said Walker has not hitchhiked before in the past but was alluding to it in recent weeks, she told him to never hitch hike.
“We still have plenty of places to check out, plenty of good scenarios to run through and we haven’t found what we’re looking for yet and he hasn’t just disappeared off the island so Bob has to be out here somewhere,” Berquist said.
More volunteers (ages 16 and older) are needed in the search.
Groups go out at 8 a.m. and noon.
The team meets at the corner of Wilinau and Makana Roads daily near the Pupukea-Paumalu trailhead.
Tents are set up and food has been provided daily for volunteers.
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