A reward of $12,000 is now being offered to anyone who could help in finding an elderly man who went missing on Dec. 26 while visiting family near Kittanning.
Kenneth Himes, 70, lived at Passavant Memorial Home near Pittsburgh and was visiting his family on Cadogan Slate Lick Road, where he was last seen on the night of Dec. 25.
Officials with Passavant donated $10,000, with another $2,000 being offered by Himes' family for information leading to Himes' whereabouts.
An initial search of the area where Himes went missing didn't lead authorities to any clues and, since then, authorities still don't know where Himes is or what condition he may be in, according to Kittanning State Trooper Curtis Guntrum.
Guntrum was confident that Himes will eventually be found, but he's not certain of the condition in which Himes will be discovered.
“As time goes on, it's less and less likely he will be found in a good condition,” Guntrum said.
He noted that the weather is a factor in the search.
“The first few days (of the search), the weather was cooperative,” Guntrum said. “Then, there was rain, which made it harder — and now, with the snow it is even harder.”
After an initial surge of activity following Himes' disappearance, officials postponed activities due to rainy weather. Since then, reported sightings haven't led to any “substantial” leads, Guntrum said.
Still, there's hope, Guntrum said.
“Outside of that little (search) area, no one was aware of him missing,” he said, explaining that more people throughout the region will need to help in the widening search for Himes.
Part of that strategy includes the $12,000 reward designed to “get people's attention,” said Tom King, a lawyer representing Passavant Memorial Home, an in-home treatment facility for people with mental disabilities and handicaps.
“This is what we stand for,” King said. “Lots of Passavant people donated literally hundreds of hours hiking that area, searching for him.”
While police described Himes as an “endangered person,” alluding to Himes' possible dementia, King described Himes as an active, older man who would go to work at a nearby supermarket while residing at Passavant.
“We're hoping that people will help in the search,” King said. “We're most anxious to find him.”