RENO, Nev. (AP) - Family members are seeking answers about the
fate of a Reno man who vanished a year ago while driving home to
Reno after visiting relatives in Ohio.
Patrick Carnes' car was found abandoned April 14, 2011, at an
Interstate 80 off-ramp about 20 miles east of Winnemucca.
Humboldt County sheriff's investigators believe the 86-year-old
World War II veteran is dead and foul play is involved. His
8-year-old Akita-Labrador mix dog named Lucky also has never been
Carnes' son, Jim, told the Reno Gazette-Journal that family members are hoping that publicity over the anniversary of Carnes' disappearance will lead to new clues.
"We are all just struggling day to day," he said. "We need to find something out. I never thought it would go a year."
In a twist, the car of 62-year-old Judy Casida of Reno was found
abandoned at the same I-80 Pumpernickel Valley off-ramp in March
2006. She remains missing. The off-ramp leads to lonely desert and
Humboldt County Undersheriff Curtiss Kull said the last known
person to speak to Carnes was a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper who
pulled him over April 13, 2011.
Carnes was accused of driving too close to the trooper while the
trooper was on an I-80 traffic stop in Wells, about a three-hour
drive east of where Carnes' car was found abandoned.
Carnes told the trooper he was following a tractor-trailer rig
because the driver was headed to Elko. But Jim Carnes said it's
possible his father was only kidding.
While the truck driver is not considered a suspect, Kull said
investigators have been trying to find him to see if he can provide
Intensive ground and air searches found no trace of Carnes, and
his children posted thousands of fliers about him in rural Nevada.
Despite Carnes' age, the Navy veteran was described as mentally
sharp and fit.
Jim Carnes thinks someone else drove his father's car to the
off-ramp. He said his father may have pulled over to sleep, and he
was attacked. Kull said robbery could have been a motive.
A video camera mounted on the patrol vehicle's dashboard captured the conversation between Carnes and the trooper, and shows Lucky wagging his tail.
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