The family’s search continues this week for a missing Crescent City man after a promising lead in Arizona proved to be a false alarm.
Kendal Smith returned Thursday night from Benson, Arizona, where several people had reported spotting his father-in-law, Norbert Anthony (Tony) Dantzman.
Dantzman disappeared Aug. 30 from a motel room in Winter, Wisconsin.
Smith said a possible sighting of Dantzman 1,700 miles away actually had made sense. “For 15 years, he and his (now deceased) wife spent two to three months a year in Arizona vacationing,” Smith told The Triplicate.
“He could easily have had a flashback of wanting to go to Arizona. Everybody knows to get out of Wisconsin in the winter.”
Dantzman, who suffers from dementia, was visiting rural Wisconsin with his daughter, Cindy Smith, and her husband, Kendal, for a family centennial reunion when he walked away from his motel room and disappeared.
Search and rescue canines lost his scent along County Highway W. The family suspects someone may have given him a ride, since no body has been found following extensive searches.
Smith said he flew to Benson to pass out fliers and talk with local police and eyewitnesses. Smith reported that a Walmart security guard there “said the guy everyone is talking about lives right there across the street.
“Sure enough,” said Smith, “the guy (across the street) looks exactly like my father-in-law.”
Smith said he’s considering a variety of additional options for locating Dantzman, including asking the Federal Bureau of Investigation for access to orbiting surveillance satellites. He said he’s also considering returning to Wisconson to reboot search efforts there.
And, said Smith, “(Officials) are talking about putting up drones again there, what with the trees having lost all their leaves. So they think they might spot something, like clothing.
“I don’t think we’ll find a body. He’s with someone.”
Meanwhile, Dantzman’s granddaughter, Haley Smith of Crescent City, has set up a Facebook page … Missing Person–Tony Dantzman@bringtonydantzmanhome … to coordinate word of the search efforts.