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Family of missing man last seen in Page County is looking for answers

Published: Jan. 8, 2022 at 7:26 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 8, 2022 at 8:17 PM EST
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PAGE COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Larry Wood, 74, of Fairfax County, Virginia has been missing for over a week.

Wood was last seen in Page County on December 29, and his family is still searching for answers.

“It’s like he’s vanished. He’s not been seen anywhere. His vehicle has not been seen. He has not been seen since that day. We’re looking in the Page County area thinking maybe he came back home,” said Lynette Keyser, Wood’s niece.

Wood grew up in Page County, where he was last seen after disappearing from his home in Fairfax on December 28.

Wood is a white male with brown eyes and gray hair. He is 5′7″ and weighs 210 pounds.

He may be driving a black 2015 Chrysler 300 four-door sedan, with handicap tags and Virginia plates. His license plate number is 439769.

While both Fairfax County officers and Page County Sheriff’s Office deputies have searched for Wood, so far there has been no sign of him.

“They’ve been searching riverbeds. My uncle loved to fish. We’re just asking people to look off the roads to find him,” said Keyser. “He could be in a field somewhere. He could be anywhere, in the woods, off the road, in a ditch, a John Doe in a hospital.”

Wood is believed to have some mild cognitive impairment after suffering a fall on Christmas Day and he could be wandering, which is common among elderly people dealing with cognitive impairment.

“Once they’re wandered off and they’re confused with their location it can be really overwhelming and hard to back track and to return home,” said Sydney Swartz, program manager for the Alzheimer’s Association of Central and Western Virginia.

Wandering is especially common in people who have Alzheimer’s or dementia. Six in ten people living with dementia have wandered at least once, and many do so repeatedly.

Wood has not been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, but could still wandering due to his cognitive impairment.

The Alzheimer’s Association said it’s important for those with elderly loved ones who may be prone to wandering to be prepared.

“The first step, I think, is really understanding their daily schedule and understanding when wandering may be for likely. Some people may be more restless in the evening, which is called sun downing, having some issues with that kind of dusk time,” said Swartz.

The Alzheimer’s Association says there are a number of ways to prepare for a search if a loved one is prone to wandering, like alerting neighbors so they can keep an eye out and aid in a possible search.

“When you’re looking, think about wandering patterns that kind of follow directions that they would go in, places they would begin, common places to start on your search. It helps to look kind of in the immediate vicinity,” said Swartz.

There are also a number of preventative measures people can take if they’re worried about a loved one wandering, like taking away car keys.

“Covering the door knobs with some kind of cloth can deter them. Something that simple, camouflaging the doors, often I’ve heard families will paint their doors the same color as their walls, just to make things a little bit more difficult,” said Swartz.

You can learn more about wandering here.

Page County Sheriff Chad Cubbage told WHSV on Saturday that there have been no updates in the search for Larry Wood at this time.

Wood’s family is asking for people everywhere to keep an eye out for him.

“At this point we just want to know where he is at. We would like him to come home. We would like people to be on the lookout for him, from anywhere from Fairfax to Page County to Staunton, to Charlottesville, Madison, Culpepper, he could be anywhere,” said Keyser.

Anyone with information on Wood’s whereabouts should contact the Fairfax County Police Department at 703-691-2131.

*** BE ON THE LOOKOUT, THIS SUBJECT HAS TIES TO PAGE COUNTY *** Virginia Senior Alert ACTIVATION: Missing #Fairfax...

Posted by Page County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, December 29, 2021

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