Authorities say leads have dwindled in the search for an 85-year-old missing Mesa man, and a positive outcome is unlikely.
However, the family of Hugh Turner continues to hold out hope he’s still alive.
Thursday will mark two months since Turner has been missing from his Red Mountain Ranch neighborhood near Power and Thomas roads in east Mesa. He disappeared after taking his routine walk near his home in the 6500 block of East Sugarloaf Street the morning of Dec. 24.
“When you have no news, that means it usually isn’t going to be a good outcome,” said Kristi Smith, coordinator of Arizona Search Track and Rescue which is assisting Turner’s family in the search. “We’re not having any luck in coming up with new leads. We keep hoping that someone took him in, but that’s a very remote possibility. We’re leaning toward the fact that he traveled farther on foot than a lot of people would have expected an 85-year-old man to do or that he very well could have gotten into a car with someone. We’re just hoping someone will come forward with some good information if he isn’t found.”
No new leads have come in for about a week, and Arizona Search Track and Rescue has turned to social media to keep the case before the public eye by distributing his picture to various agencies throughout the United States and Canada.
Smith said the last lead was from a woman who believes she saw Turner get into a dark blue Hyundai with California license plates in the parking lot of a Home Depot near Power and McKellips roads — on Jan. 1. The person who called in the tip claimed she didn’t think it was pertinent information at the time. But after recently talking to a friend about what she saw and the length of time Turner has been missing, the friend urged her to call Arizona Search Track and Rescue, who gave the information to Mesa police.
Turner is 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighs 150 pounds and is balding with white hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a tan hat, tan pants and a navy blue jacket. He has a heart condition that requires medication. The last credible sightings of Turner were from neighbors who saw him walking through the neighborhood on Dec. 24.
There are 44 people on the FaceBook Internet page, Help Find Hugh Turner, who are following updates by his family.
Turner’s daughter, Janice McCaffrey, said her father has been married for 60 years and there is no reason he would want to leave home and not return. McCaffrey will return to Mesa from Canada on Thursday to help her mother, and said they are considering hiring a private investigator to look into his disappearance.
“It’s been hard for the family because we don’t know about all the tips that come in,” McCaffrey said. “It still troubles us greatly. It’s a mystery. We know he got lost, but then what happened? Because we haven’t discovered him dead, we think that he still could be alive.
“It’s an eye opener for any family that’s gone through this,” McCaffrey added. “It’s a torment, but you can’t give up, either. We’re just looking for answers.”
Anyone who thinks they may have seen Turner can contact Mesa police at (480) 644-2211. Arizona Search Track and Rescue can be reached at (623) 878-9149 or (623) 695-3926 or visit www.azstar.org.
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