WAXAHACHIE – Five days have passed since 79-year-old Laverne Berry was reported missing from his Waxahachie home and police are still searching for the man diagnosed with Dementia.
Berry was reported missing from his home at about 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 7 in the 400 block of Wyatt Street near downtown Waxahachie by his wife, Carolyn.
According to Waxahachie Police Lt. Todd Woodruff, Waxahachie Police have followed up on several leads from residents who thought they encountered Berry. One resident even told police they believed to have spoken to Berry near the hike-and-bike trail where it crosses Matthews Street.
“The caller was pretty sure that Mr. Berry was the person they spoke to but our officers didn’t find anything when they checked that area,” Woodruff said. “Tomorrow morning (Saturday) detectives are going back over some thick, overgrown areas near his home and in his neighborhood, just to make sure we haven’t missed something. Some of his family members will be assisting with that endeavor. They’ve explained that physically he is in pretty good shape, but we don’t know if he’s fallen somewhere or been injured in some other way.”
Waxahachie Police Chief Wade Goolsby encourages residents to come forward with any information, as it becomes available.
“Right now we don’t have any particular area to search. That is one of the challenges. If someone comes across him, call that police agency. Preferably stay there with him until we can get there. I know the family is frantic and we are doing everything that we can. We really just don’t have much to go on. So anyone that has information, please give us a call," Goolsby said.
"We have been getting calls but nothing has panned out so far. We have had a lot of people call and say, "I think that I saw him.' We have been able to find some of the individuals they have been talking about and it is not the right person. If anyone hears anything from him or gets any information about where he might be, please contact us.”
Goolsby advises any parties who take it upon themselves to search for Berry to remain in a group, tell people the location where they are searching, bring plenty of water to stay hydrated and, if they find Berry, contact police immediately.
According to a release issued by the Waxahachie Police Department, members of the Mark 9 Search-and-Rescue team deployed a canine unit to conduct an open-air search at about 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9 in an attempt to locate the missing man. Efforts to find Berry, who has been entered into the Texas Crime Information Center and National Crime Information Center database as a missing person, were unsuccessful.
The Texas Department of Public Safety initially issued a statewide silver alert for Berry at 4:07 p.m. on Tuesday.
Waxahachie Police Department Det. Casey Borders stated that Berry left his residence on foot wearing blue jeans and a long sleeve maroon and beige colored shirt. Berry has a full gray beard.
According to the FBI website, as of Dec. 31, 2016, the NCIC database contained 88,040 active missing person records.
Berry’s sister-in-law, Peggy Davis, stated the family has talked with Berry’s friends, visited places he frequented and looked for him in neighboring cities, such as Italy.
“He went somewhere on Monday morning. We don’t know where or when. I don’t have any idea where he has gone. My sister went to sleep and he was outside on the porch. When she woke up he was gone,” Davis said. "He does not hang out with too many people. He might walk to the store on Martin Luther King Jr. (Boulevard) and back. We are checking with people that he would normally talk to.”
Davis describes her brother-in-law as a very approachable and talkative person with a big smile. She added Berry has a slim build, stands about 5-foot-8 and is between 180 – 200 pounds.
People who have information about Berry’s whereabouts are to contact Borders at the police department or to contact the law enforcement agency in their area. Borders can be reached the at the police department at 469-309-4441. The Waxahachie Police Department is located at 216 N. College St. in downtown Waxahachie.
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