State police are running out of leads in the search for an elderly autistic man who disappeared from South Buffalo on Christmas.
Kenneth L. Himes, 70, left the home of a family member along Cadogan-Slate Lick Road in South Buffalo sometime between 11:30 p.m. Dec. 25 and 8 a.m. Dec. 26 and hasn’t been seen since. He was on foot and was last seen wearing a black jacket, black tassel cap and white athletic shoes. Police said Himes is 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs 190 pounds.
State Police Trooper Michael Graham, the lead investigator in the case, said authorities are renewing their call for the public to be on the lookout for Himes.
A massive search for Himes was conducted in South Buffalo and near Ford City in the days after his disappearance, even sending divers into a nearby pond, but searchers came up empty.
Graham said state police have a grainy video of a man, who could be Himes, which shows an older man dressed in black, like Himes, walking along Cadogan-Slate Lick Road toward Ford City about 4:15 a.m. Dec. 26 near the ball fields just past The Villa restaurant.
If anyone walks regularly along Cadogan-Slate Lick Road at that time of day, they are asked to call state police in Kittanning at 724-543-2011.
If the video image was of Himes, he was walking toward Ford City, he was not captured on video at the Sheetz at Ford Cliff, a landmark stop for anyone in a car or on foot in the area.
Police knocked on doors in Ford City and hundreds of searchers not more than 10 feet apart checked the areas along Cadogan-Slate Lick Road without finding anything.
Himes is an active man who walked daily and could easily have walked the four-plus miles to Ford City, according to Graham.
Passavant Memorial Homes, where Himes lived in Pittsburgh, soon will launch a billboard campaign to get the word out that he still is missing, according to Graham.
Himes kept a regular schedule in Pittsburgh.
There was an alleged sighting of him at J & J’s restaurant in Mt. Washington shortly after his disappearance but no other sightings corroborated his presence there, according to Graham.
“Ken is a popular guy,” he said. “Everyone knows him. It‘s hard to believe that he’s in the area and is not being seen.”
That is why police wants to keep getting the word out and they ask that residents continue to look for him.
“We’re praying somebody sees him and calls in soon so we have some place to resume looking,” Graham said.
Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary Ann at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.