Missing Roanoke man found safe

Published: Sep. 5, 2023 at 12:39 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - UPDATE: The missing man has been found safe, according to Roanoke Police.

ORIGINAL STORY: Roanoke Police continue to search for an 81-year-old man (originally reported as 80) missing since early Monday, and held a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

He was still missing as of Saturday.

Police are asking people to be on the lookout and call police if they have information about the man’s whereabouts.

Virginia State Police issued a Senior Alert for James “Jim” Herman Smith, last reported seen at 1:45 a.m. Monday in the 1800 block of Orange Ave NW. His family says he walked from his home, not for the first time, but this is the longest he’s been gone. Police say he is likely confused. He used to live in the Gainsboro area and may have headed there, and he also may have headed to a school within Roanoke City Public Schools, as he used to work for the school district at several of the schools.

“Please check your cars, your storage buildings, garages, (or) anywhere else on your property that someone may go to seek shelter,” said Captain Andrew Pulley. “It was extremely warm yesterday; it’s going to get even warmer today. And we’re really worried that maybe Mr. Smith has gone somewhere to seek shelter.”

Police describe Smith as a Black man who stands 5′8″ and weighs 215 pounds, and has brown eyes and gray hair. Smith is possibly wearing a white short-sleeved t-shirt and blue jeans with no belt, and is barefoot. He also has facial hair.

Police say Smith suffers from cognitive impairment and his disappearance poses a credible threat to his health and safety. They say dehydration is a major concern and they say he is endangered.

Bedford’s bloodhounds traced and then lost Smith’s scent near 11th and Orange Avenue NW. Police say this can mean someone may have picked him up in a vehicle. If you picked him up, police say you’re not in trouble, but they want to know where you dropped him off.

Anyone who sees him is urged to call 911, or anyone with information on Smith’s location is asked to call the Roanoke City Police Department at 540-853-2212.