Roanoke authorities urge community to search for missing 81-year-old

ROANOKE, Va. – The Roanoke Police Department is urging community members to be on the lookout for 81-year-old Jim Smith who went missing on Monday.

“Please check your cars, your storage buildings, garages, anywhere else on your property that somebody might go to try to seek shelter,” Capt. Andrew Pulley with RPD said. “It was extremely warm yesterday, it’s gonna get even warmer today and we are really worried that maybe Mr. Smith and his confused state has gone somewhere to seek shelter.”

[Senior alert issued for missing man in Roanoke]

Police said the bloodhounds last tracked Smith to 11th Street and Orange Avenue Northwest indicating that he may have gotten into a car.

“If you’re the person who picked up somebody in the early morning hours of Monday morning to try to help them, thank you, but what we need from you is to contact us. You’re not in any trouble,” Capt. Pulley said.

Police said the search has now expanded to all of Roanoke City.

“I wish I could give better more finite areas for us to search for Mr. Smith, but at this point, we are over 24 hours that he’s been gone we really just need to be looking everywhere for him,” Capt. Pulley said.

This isn’t the first time he has wandered away from home. They said Smith suffers from cognitive impairment and they’re concerned for his safety.

“Every other time we have been able to locate him in a relatively short amount of time this is the longest he has been away from home that we haven’t been able to find him,” he said.

In these conditions, police said they’re worried Smith may be suffering from dehydration. If you see him or have any information on where he could be call 911.


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Kelly Marsh joined the team in July 2023.