Police searching for missing Grants Pass man with dementia

Grants Pass, Ore. — Oregon State Police and the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office are searching for a missing Grants Pass man, recently diagnosed with dementia. Robert Carton’s wife Mary last heard from him Thursday afternoon.

“He called and said he was coming home,” Mary said.

That was the last thing Carton told Mary over the phone. He had left their Grants Pass house Wednesday night.

“He was upset with me, because he needed, to have his, go through an evaluation for his drivers, be able to continue driving, and he said he was going to leave,” Mary said.

Carton got in the car, set on driving to Washington to visit his brother, but he never made it there. The last place Robert mentioned was Springfield.

“When I talked to his brother, he told me that he was very concerned, because he was, he’d always been so sharp, and he wasn’t acting that way, ” Mary said.

Just this week, Robert was diagnosed with dementia. Mary found out, after taking him to the doctor for a bad fall. She says Robert hurt his head, and even had a black eye.

“I think the blow on his head is what’s causing him to have so many problems,” Mary said.

With hundreds of miles separating the two places, Mary reached out for help.

“The family reported him as missing,” Oregon State Police Sergeant Stephanie Bigman said.

Sgt. Bigman has worked on cases like this before.

“They’ll end up states away, because they just keep driving trying to figure out where they’re supposed to go to,” Sgt. Bigman said.

Carton is driving a 1996 white Dodge Caravan. He’s described as an 88 year old man, weighing 140 pounds with blue eyes. Police are releasing this information to the public with the hopes that someone will recognize him, but Sgt. Bigman said it may be for nothing.

“There is a good chance that as he’s going along that he’ll actually will remember where he’s from, and return home, as long as he has a lucid period long enough to get him home,” Sgt. Bigman said.

In the meantime, Mary and her family are putting their trust in the officers, and anyone traveling in the area.

“We’re just praying and believing that the police are going to find him,” Mary said.

If you’ve seen Carton in the past two days, you’re asked to call police.

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