Reports about a missing Lompoc man spurred some local residents into undertaking their own searches of areas where Donald Byron Bishop might have disappeared as police also continued looking Saturday.
Bishop, 94, went for a walk about 1 p.m. Thursday and did not return home, Lompoc police said Friday. The man typically walked around his house near Laurel Avenue as well as River Park at the eastern edge of the city and Beattie Park on the southeast side of Lompoc.
He has no known medical problems other than forgetfulness, police said, adding that Bishop has been known to fall while walking.
“The Lompoc Police Department used various resources and thoroughly checked the locations that were frequented by the missing (man), for approximately eight hours,” Sgt. Jorge Magana said. “We will continue to monitor the area and have notified surrounding agencies.”
Officers used a drone, a heavy-duty truck and an all-terrain vehicle along with walking to search the possible areas where Bishop could have gone, Sgt. Scott Morgan said Saturday. Efforts resumed Saturday when a police corporal was diverted from his planned tasks to patrol via all-terrain vehicle other areas of the Santa Ynez Riverbed not previously checked, Morgan added.
Local residents launched their own searches, moved by reports to check areas Friday night and Saturday in hopes of locating Bishop. They detailed their efforts on social media.
One searcher, Patty Jackson, a Vandenberg Village resident, said she decided to look for Bishop after recognizing that Lompoc has a shortage of police officers. She added that she hoped others would conduct a similar search on her behalf if she were to go missing.
“I just keep praying for a miracle of finding him because it’s been too many days out there without water at River Park,” Jackson said.
Jackson expressed frustration that she couldn’t do more and said she was emotional that Bishop had not been found as of Saturday afternoon — his wife’s birthday.
“Lompoc is a beautiful city, and they care about their people here,” Jackson said.
The missing man was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt, blue jeans, dark brown shoes, a white shirt and red suspenders, according to police.
Anyone with information about Bishop’s location can call 911 or the Lompoc Police Department at 805.736.2341.