The desperate search for a missing New Hampshire man with special needs has reached the one-week mark.
Jack Walsh walked away from an appointment at Parkland Medical Center in Derry last Tuesday.
On Tuesday afternoon, Walsh’s sisters told necn they understand something tragic could’ve happened to their brother over the last week, but they’re encouraged by sightings near the Loop, as recently as Monday.
“We’re frantically trying to find him,” said Joanne Simpson to a shopper at the Loop.
Simpson and her sister Jennifer Bakanosky were passing out missing posters with a photo of their 63-year-old brother with special needs who has been missing for a full week.
“We’re really getting into panic mode now, the weather has been terrible,” Simpson said.
Methuen Police have now joined the search – saying time is not on Walsh’s side.
“The concern is very critical,” said Police Chief Joe Solomon. “You need to find the person before they lay down just to lay down and take a nap and slowly they start to slip away.”
But for his family, a bit of hope is restored with each reported sighting.
“He actually did come in the restaurant, looked at our TVs for minute or two and walked out,” said Manager of Not Your Average Joe’s in Methuen, Ben Panunzio.
He’s sure Walsh was there a couple days ago.
“I’ve been mentioning it to all my staff all my employees,” he told Simpson and Bakanosky.
A newly released photo shows Walsh in the same leather jacket he was wearing when he walked away from Parkland Medical Center in Derry last Tuesday. His sisters say, by now, he’s grown a scraggly beard and they’re hoping he’s found a hat to keep warm.
“Jack is a smart person even though he suffers from dementia, some kind of survival skills are coming into play,” Simpson said.
They believe in their brother. And with such compassion from this community, they believe they’ll see him again.
“We definitely are doing everything we can to help bring Jack home for the holidays,” Panunzio said.
“It would be like a miracle, a miracle,” Bakanosky said.
Walsh’s family has been out here talking with shoppers for two full days now – asking them to keep an eye out for Jack.
They say if you see Jack, don’t approach him, you might scare him, just call 911 right away.