Tony Dantzman

The search for Norbert Anthony (Tony) Danztman continues after the 89-year-old Crescent City man walked away from a motel Aug. 30 in Winter, Wisconsin and disappeared.

His granddaughter, Haley Smith of Crescent City, has stayed in communications with Patricia Sanchez, the Sawyer County, Wisconsin, search and rescue coordinator and county emergency manager.

Leads to Dantzman’s whereabouts have been few, said Smith, with the added challenge of separating rumors from viable tips.

“There has been nothing, literally nothing,” she said. “There was a rumor he was found (that was) spreading here and in Wisconsin. But he was not found. (Sanchez) has been on rumor control.”

Dantzman, who suffers from dementia, was attending a centennial family reunion in Winter when he walked away from his motel room.

Smith set up a Facebook page — Missing Person - Tony Dantzman@bringtonydantzmanhome — to help spread the word of her grandfather’s disappearance and provide a central site for updates.

As of Thursday, there were 497 likes for the page and 506 followers, with the Facebook page reaching a total of 135,741 people.

“For every one person who sees the page, 50 to 200 see and share it,” said Smith. “It’s been awesome how much it’s going out. We’re just trying to get the word out.” Smith said she remains in daily contact Sanchez.

The Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release that extensive searches of the immediate area had been conducted utilizing ground surveillance, canines and areal support. The canines lost Dantzman’s scent along a road heading toward County Highway West, so he may have hitched a ride, the sheriff’s office said.

Sanchez, a member of the county’s search and rescue team since 2002, said she’s surprised they’ve found no clues, given the search effort initiated.

“We had canines on the scene within a couple hours and drones, planes, civilian air patrol. We’ve moved to cadaver dogs, just to cover all possibilities. But we’ve still found nothing,” Sanchez said.

“We’re always optimistic. The highway has so much traffic, somebody had to have seen him. All we need is that one good tip.

“It doesn’t matter if you have all the technology and resources in the world, you can miss somebody,” said Sanchez. “I checked one grid area where the weeds were over my head. I tripped and got stuck.

“So, at this point, we can’t rule out anything.”

Smith added that she and other family members are weighing whether to fly to Winter to assist in the search.

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