- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Relatives of a missing Washington, D.C., man who has dementia fear he might be trying to walk or hitchhike back to his native La Plata and are asking local residents to keep an eye out.
John Matthews, 88, was last seen around 10:15 p.m. Dec. 10 in the 1400 block of Oglethorpe Street in the District.
District resident Marilyn Matthews said her father suffers from dementia and “lately in his mind, he’s been stuck in La Plata,” where he was born and raised.
Marilyn Matthews said her father has recently been confusing her with one of his aunts and believes his mind might have reverted to his childhood.
“I feel in my gut that he is trying to make it back to La Plata,” she said.
An avid walker, John Matthews used to tell his family about how he had once walked from La Plata to the District, Marilyn Matthews said.
“He can walk the pants off most people,” she added. “He’s pretty friendly and engaging, and he’s probably smart enough to even convince someone to take him there.”
Marilyn Matthews said District police have interviewed her family members and notified the Charles County Sheriff’s Office regarding her father’s disappearance and ties to the area.
John Matthews moved to the District when he was 17, enlisted in the U.S. Navy two years later and served as a radio communicator on a warship in the Pacific theater during World War II, his daughter said.
He is 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighs about 155 pounds, has brown eyes, gray hair and a medium complexion. He was last seen wearing brown pants, a blue sweater and a maroon vest.
Marilyn Matthews said she has cousins in La Plata who plan to hand out missing-person fliers on the street.
Anyone who believes they have seen Matthews or know of his whereabouts can contact Metropolitan Police Detective Willie Randolph at 202-576-6768 or the Command Information Center at 202-727-9099.