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Letters: Following leads crucial tolocating missing persons

I realize this is old re-hashed news, but I can keep quiet no longer regarding my personal bad experience with the search efforts made for Mr. Gene Pillow after his June 2006 disappearance.

When the news asked the public for help and information, I reported seeing Mr. Pillow near his driveway the day he disappeared.I remembered recognizing a strange terrified lost look on his face as I passed him along Parkway Drive near his house.He was turning to and fro, staring wild-eyed up into the trees as if trying to figure out where he was and which way to go.

Since I saw him out near the road in a similar fashion nearly every day, I assumed he was being watched and cared for and was safe being right there at his house. Later after learning he was missing, I called 911 with this pertinent information describing my observations. I explained, based upon what I saw, that it seemed unlikely that this obviously feeble elderly man could have wandered off farther than the roadside ditch or fence-row within a quarter mile of his own house.

The 911 dispatcher advised me that a full extensive search including the use of dogs had already been made of the entire area.Despite my efforts, the dispatcher would not document my call, take my information, or even note my name and number.I felt my details were of significance and would aid in the search closer to home.

Many months later, poor Mr. Pillow was found exactly where I said to look –just up the road from his own residence.I feel bad over the great disrespect and negligence shown for this elderly man and his troubled family. It could have all been over in days if someone had listened and followed up on my 911 call.

Were other clues and 911 calls also ignored?

After all, our good Sheriff can only act upon information that is actually relayed.

Finally, my personal apologies to the Pillow family. Sorry for too little too late on all counts. Please forgive us all.

Steve Hesterman

Crescent City

If you are willing to live with

it, then that's your own fault

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