Sat | Sep 30, 2023


Family fearful for octogenarian who vanished a fortnight ago

Published:Saturday | June 11, 2022 | 12:11 AMOlivia Brown/Gleaner Writer
Eighty-two-year-old James Carter, who has been missing since May 30.
Eighty-two-year-old James Carter, who has been missing since May 30.

It has been almost two weeks of turmoil for a Clarendon family as they search for their 82-year-old patriarch, James Carter, who vanished from his Glenmuir Housing Scheme home on Monday, May 30.

The 5ft 8in tall Carter, who is also know as Jim, was reportedly last seen in the parish capital, May Pen, wearing a blue shirt and a pair of grey shorts.

The May Pen police have confirmed that a missing person’s report was filed at the station on May 31.

Carter’s stepson, Michael Gottshalk, told The Gleaner that the family is on tenterhooks over the uncertainty surrounding the elderly man’s whereabouts and health.

Relatives are growing more despondent as the days go by.

“It’s a lot of distress and anxiety. Each passing day, it gets harder and harder and more difficult to track him down. In the initial hours when he went missing, we were extremely hopeful, but the hope is dwindling down now because we’re not seeing or hearing anything,” lamented Gottshalk.

“He’s been out there for almost two weeks. His health would have certainly deteriorated by now. We don’t know if he’s eating, and eating properly, or resting, and at 82 years old, you need all the care you can get,” he said.

Made Previous attempts to leave

Gottshalk disclosed that Carter, who suffers from dementia, had made previous attempts to leave home.

His mental state had also led relatives to adopt various strategies to keep a closer watch on him, including at times taking him to work.

“Sometimes while being home, he will say he wants to go home, so that’s one of the things that would propel him to leave, Gottshalk told The Gleaner. “He attempted to go through the gate before, but he didn’t go far. He remained right in the community and someone just stopped him and turned him back, but he has never wandered out of the community to the point where we can’t find him.”

According to the stepson, Carter’s illness affects him mainly in the evenings or at night-time, “and that’s exactly the time he slipped out on us”.

The family has combed through several areas over the past few days, following reports of possible sightings of Carter across the parish. None of their efforts have unearthed any clues to the elderly man’s whereabouts.

“It’s taking a toll on us, especially my brother. He’s not able to focus on his job. We have to keep telling him not to give up and that he’ll see his dad alive again,” said Gottshalk.

“I see this so many times in the media and I sympathised and empathised with those persons, but you don’t truly understand what it means until it happens to you,” he said.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of James Carter is being asked to contact the May Pen police at 876-986-2208 or 119 or to make contact with the family at 876-343-8695 or 876-502-4224.