Family of missing Sells man with dementia not giving up hope - Tucson News Now

Family of missing Sells man with dementia not giving up hope

Isaac Carlos, missing for more than three weeks, family won't give up search. (Source: AZ Dept. of Public Safety) Isaac Carlos, missing for more than three weeks, family won't give up search. (Source: AZ Dept. of Public Safety)
(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

It's been more than three weeks since the Arizona Department of Public Safety issued a Silver Alert for 68-year-old Isaac Carlos, who was last seen on Saturday, March 4, when he went for a walk in the area of Federal Route 19 and Main Street in Sells. 

According to Isaac Carlos' family, he still hasn't been found. Family members reported Carlos missing at 2 p.m. on Monday, March 6.

"The toughest part is just not knowing," said Carlos' son Kevin Carlos. "That's primarily it. We want to make sure he's okay."

Kevin Carlos said despite the hardships, he's not giving up hope. Carlos' family has formed search groups and are using social media websites such as Facebook to post recent pictures of Carlos with detailed information about his whereabouts.

According to his family, Carlos suffers from dementia and has wandered off before, he is also on foot.

"I'm trying to stay positive," said Kevin Carlos, who said various law enforcement agencies have been helping his family with the search. "That's all I can do."

Tohono O'odham Police are investigating this case and according to Tohono O'odham Nation spokesperson Matt Smith, there are no new developments.

Carlos is described as 5'4" tall, weighing 140 pounds with gray hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a hat, brown flannel jacket, purple T-shirt and blue jeans.

According to family members he may have hitchhiked to Crowhang or San Xavier, but they have already checked with family members and friends in those areas.

"We're worried about his kids and how they are," said family member Phyllis Valenzuela. "We're hoping that it would be a good outcome but since it's been so long, we're already ready for the next step."

For many families with missing loved ones, it's a time filled with uncertainty, and getting the word out is a top priority. Many families lose hope after the word of their missing loved one stops circulating.

Spokesperson for the Pima County Sheriff's Department Cody Gress said detectives treat these missing person cases like they would any criminal case.

"They follow all leads until they reach a dead end," said Gress. "The cases will be closed until further evidence or new information comes forward as to the whereabouts of the missing person."

An important factor to missing person cases is the Arizona Department of Public Safety alert system. This includes AMBER, Blue and Silver alerts.

Gress said according to the rules and regulations given to the department regarding Silver Alerts, the Arizona Silver Alert Plan requires law enforcement to meet two criteria when evaluating a potential missing vulnerable adult and both are required before any activation may occur.

Raul Garcia, a spokesperson for DPS, said they do not investigate Silver Alerts, but local law-enforcement agencies do.

"We simply take the report from local law-enforcement and activate them for the media and public," said Garcia. "We deactivate them once investigating local law-enforcement notifies us to do so."

Garcia suggests those who have reported a missing person should follow up with the same police agency that took the initial report.

You can read more about DPS' alert system here: https://www.azdps.gov/safety/alerts

The National Alliance on Mental Illness, also known as NAMI, suggests providing information police where your loved one is missing with all the information you can.

You can find more information on finding a missing loved one with tips from NAMI here: http://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Family-Members-and-Caregivers/Finding-a-Missing-Loved-One

Carlos' family said they are planning another search soon. Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or the Tohono O'odham Nation at (520) 383-6412.

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