Family Hoping for Return of Missing Man

By: Cathleen Moxley Email
By: Cathleen Moxley Email

The family of a missing man is waiting for their loved one to return home, while crews continue to search for 82-year-old Donald Rapson.

"We knew that as soon as he was gone, he was gone. We knew he had taken off," Rapson's son, Ernie Rapson, said.

Ernie Rapson last saw his father Tuesday. That's when he and the rest of his family discovered that Rapson, who has alzeimers, had left. So they immediately called police.

"Their family's try to give them as much freedom as they can. Sometimes they'll walk out of house and be on foot, and sometimes they'll get in the vehicle and go," Detective Robert Black with the Parkersburg Police Dept. said.

Which is exactly what Rapson did.

"We think he was probably trying to go home to Michigan, and he went up Route 2," Ernie Rapson said.

But on his way, Rapson veered off course on a back road in Wetzel county, where authorities found his car, but Rapson wasn't in it.

"He had a hat, and coat and gloves, but nothing like what you need in this weather," Ernie Rapson said.

And so they say all they can do now is pray and hope.

"All those out there searching, we thank them for all their work," Madelyn Rapson, Donald's wife, said.

Wood and Wetzel County Sheriff's Departments are still searching on ground and in the air.

Anyone who has seen Mr. Rapson or may know where he is, is asked to call the Parkersburg Police Department at 424-8444


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  • by Anonymous on Jan 16, 2009 at 09:32 PM
    My prayers are with him and his family. God Bless
  • by Johanna on Jan 16, 2009 at 08:04 PM
    Agree with Debbie...what can we do?
  • by DEBBIE on Jan 16, 2009 at 04:37 PM
    my prayers are with the family.how can we volinteer or help in any way,please keep the public informed.
  • by Johanna Location: Marietta on Jan 16, 2009 at 03:12 PM
    I can't stop thinking about this Family! Praying his return to them soon!!! Agree with Roger's post..Project Lifesaver for the Future of all Alz. Victims. My heart goes out to this Family!!! I can't wait until he is found!
  • by Jessica Location: Vincent on Jan 16, 2009 at 01:33 PM
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Ernie! We will continue to pray for his safe return! May God bless and comfort you in this difficult time.
  • by Judy Skeen Location: Parkersburg, WV on Jan 16, 2009 at 10:22 AM
    Madolyn, Ernie, Pat, Hosea, Amy,We at Bethel Baptist are praying for Don and for you. Don is in God's Providential care. Take comfort in that. Read Isaiah 41:10. God Bless! Judy Skeen
  • by Roger Location: Marietta on Jan 16, 2009 at 09:12 AM
    This is so very sad..Please if you have a family member with alzeimers,don't allow any acess to car keys. And if all possible please invest in a tracking device that they can wear..It only can take a second for them to disappear.My mom had alzeimers,and she disappeared a couple of times,but thank god she was quickly found.My thoughts and prayers are with this family,and hope for a safe return
  • by Melody Location: Parkersburg on Jan 16, 2009 at 09:05 AM
    There are so many prayers going up for your family all over the MOV. Please feel God's spirit with you through this difficult time and lean on your Christian brothers and sisters. We will continue to pray for his safe return. God bless you all.
  • by Keri Location: Ohio on Jan 16, 2009 at 08:28 AM
    All of the family in Ohio is praying for his safe return. We love you. Hang in there.
  • by kathy Location: Williamstown, WV on Jan 16, 2009 at 06:02 AM
    The minute I saw this on the news my thoughts immediately went to the family, not know can be the worst. My family is praying for the safe return of your loved one. Prayer works
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