Missing man may be suffering from early dementia; needs help from community

David Welch, 54, of Manhattan has exhibited signs of early dementia prior to going missing. He requires medical attention and his family is asking the public to please help locate him.
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Oct. 14, 2013 - PRLog -- The family of David Welch has secured the services of LostNMissing Inc., a national nonprofit organization which assists family of missing, to help locate Welch.  On September 2, 2013 at approximately 8:30 PM,  Welch, 54, of Manhattan, left his home in a maroon 2000 Pontiac Montana (van) with Kansas license plate of 577 FLR.  The van has an all gray interior, and all the back seats have been removed.  Welch is approximately 5’ 11” tall and weighs approximately 240 pounds, with blue-gray eyes. He has brownish-gray wavy hair, with a receding hairline in the front , a gray goatee and a mole on the lower left side of his cheek.   Due to his diminishing cognitive awareness and dementia, his family is pursuing a Silver Alert to be issued through the Kansas Bureau of Investigations.

When last seen, Welch was wearing a white pullover t-shirt, khaki shorts, and flip-flops. He did not have his cell phone, but he did have his wallet, cash, and bankcards which have not been used since his disappearance.  Welch has not had his necessary medications and is due for doctor appointments.

The Riley County Police Department, as well as the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks,  conducted searches which consisted of over 20  law enforcement personnel, including several members of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and focused on areas that would be most probable as accessible, or known, to Welch.

The searches did not turn up any evidence of him. Welch is still missing and at this time there is no information leading investigators to believe that he may be the victim of foul play. The family strongly believes that whatever has caused Welch's disappearance is due to his dementia and not of his own choosing.

Cynthia Caron, president and founder of LostNMissing states the following, "We are asking the public, who live in and around Manhattan, to please check your own property in case Mr. Welch may have abandoned his vehicle, or if a possible accident may have occurred and he became trapped." she further adds, "While we always want to go with hopes that our missing loved ones are "out there and well" we do need to cover all bases and must rely on the public for their awareness and assistance."

Dave Lyhane, spokesperson for the Welch family, issued this statement on their behalf: “Understandably, the Welch family is in anguish, and for this reason we ask that you kindly respect their privacy. During these past weeks they have been sustained by their faith and God’s promise that through Him, all things are possible. The prayers of so many family, friends, and even those of strangers give them hope while never losing focus on their only goal, to bring Dave home safely. The family also wishes to express their deepest gratitude to the Riley County Police for their continued efforts to find Dave, as well as to the countless numbers of family, friends, and strangers who have offered support, compassion, and encouragement during this difficult time."

Anyone with information, or who may spot Welch or his vehicle, is asked to call  the Riley County Police Department (785-537-2112) or your local police.  Anonymous tips can be made through Crime Stoppers (785-539-7777) and one may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.00. Family and friends of Dave are also providing a reward for information that leads to his safe return. Please refer to the “Find Dave Welch” Facebook page for more details, updates and ways that you can assist the search efforts.
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