An elderly Washington state man and Madison Valley native has gone missing from his assisted living facility in Sedro-Woolley, Wash.
Raymond John Jones, 80, was reported missing on Oct. 1 and hasn’t been seen since, said Detective David Pierce of the Sedro-Woolley Police Department.
“At this point, we’re kind of shooting in the dark as to where he could have gone,” Pierce said.
Jones suffers from Alzheimer’s and has recently reminisced about his past and growing up on his family homestead in McAllister, said his daughter Bonnie Jones Graham, who lives in Billings.
“The memories of Montana are pretty jumbled, but he definitely still talks about … being in Montana,” Graham said.
When Jones was reported missing, Sedro-Woolley authorities searched exhaustively for two days with helicopters, officers on horseback and dogs. They turned up nothing, Pierce said.
His family and friends went to social media to spread the word. They started a Facebook page called “Help Us Find Ray Jones,” which reached more than 15,000 people in three days, according to a press release about Jones’ disappearance.
Jones was born in McAllister in 1932. He and his four brothers started school in McAllister and then went to Ennis, Graham said.
He would often tell stories of logging in the South Meadow Creek area and working at ranches around the valley.
Jones is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and could easily communicate with people, but recently had been talking about the past, like many Alzheimer patients do, she said.
The last time he was in Ennis was about four years ago.
Authorities in Sedro-Woolley believe Jones could have been picked up by a passerby or possibly fell in the Skagit River, Pierce said.
“Anything at this point is possible,” he said.
The reason the family is focused on Montana is because of Jones’ recent recollections and the possibility that he could have convinced a stranger to bring him here, Pierce said.
Anybody who has information about Jones’ whereabouts is encouraged to contact local authorities.