A search for Juneau resident Nathan Bishop, 58, described by police as “physically able, but suffers from Parkinson’s and dementia,” is ongoing as of Sunday evening after he was reported missing Saturday evening, according to police officials.
Bishop, a resident at the Riverview Senior Living center at Vintage Business Park, was last seen at about 5 p.m. Saturday at the assisted care facility, said Lt. Krag Campbell of the Juneau Police Department.
About 70 people were involved with the search for Bishop on Sunday, including members of Juneau Mountain Rescue, Juneau SEADOGS, JPD and volunteers, said Luke Lemieux of Alaska State Troopers in an interview in the Riverview parking lot at about 3 p.m. Sunday, where search efforts are being coordinated.
The coordinated search was called off for the day shortly before 5 p.m. Sunday after darkness set in, Campbell said. A limited search by officials is continuing overnight.
“We will still have uniformed patrol officer checking the roads,” he said.
Lemieux said the area covered during Sunday’s search included the entire Mendenhall Valley and surrounding areas, extending to the University of Alaska Southeast and the vicinity of Nugget Mall.
“Right now we’re just trying to saturate this whole area because we don’t have a good indication because of the amount of time that has elapsed,” he said. “And because of possible medical conditions we want to make sure that he didn’t wander off somewhere else and we just aren’t getting a scent. So we just want to make sure that we get this immediate area, all these residential areas, the trails.”
A statement issued by JPD at about 12:30 p.m. Sunday states that, in addition to his medical condition, “Bishop may also become tired after some time, and sit or lie down in areas, rather than seek help.”
His sister, Brita Bishop, told the Empire that he is likely unable to move or talk due to being without his medications. He also did not have a telephone with him at the time.
“Bishop is described as a white male, about 6 feet tall and weighing approximately 200 pounds,” the JPD statement notes. “He was last seen wearing a brown t-shirt and grey joggers. Bishop also wears glasses and was believed not to be wearing a coat at the time he went missing.”
SEADOGS members and their trained dogs were used during the search between 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 a.m. Sunday to try to determine the direction Bishop had gone, Lemieux said. Tracks were discovered in a southwestern direction, where the search focused as dogs tried to follow a scent.
“We had tracks going in the direction of that way and then we lost the scent,” he said.
The search area has since expanded because of the amount of time Bishop has been missing, Lemieux said.
Temperatures overnight were in the low 40s with some precipitation, according to the National Weather Service Juneau. The forecast for Sunday is for temperatures in the mid 40s, rain that may be heavy at times and winds to 25 miles per hour.
The JPD statement asks volunteers wanting to assist with the ground search to check in with the Troopers’ mobile command center at the Riverview parking lot so volunteers can be accounted for. Volunteers searching in vehicles along roads and streets don’t need to check in at the command center.
“If you live in the area where Bishop went missing, such as the 1-2 mile radius around Clinton Drive, please check surveillance cameras from the night of the 25th, after 5 p.m., that might have recorded someone matching Bishop’s description,” the JPD statement notes. “Additionally, homeowners can check the areas around their property to make sure Bishop did not seek shelter from the rain and colder temperatures.”
Bishop is a lifelong resident of Juneau who until May lived with his wife, Amanda Arra, in one of the houses along the Mendenhall River that was damaged and condemned due to record flooding in August, according to a GoFundMe set up for the couple after the flood. He moved to Riverview in May because his medical condition.
Anyone with information about Bishop’s whereabouts is asked to call JPD at (907) 586-0600.
• Contact Mark Sabbatini at email@example.com or (907) 957-2306.