SAN FRANCISCO —The family of a missing retired San Francisco firefighter are seeking the public’s help after he went missing on a train headed to Chicago. According to multiple reports, 69-year-old Charles J. Dowd boarded an Amtrak train in Emeryville with plans to change trains in Chicago. He was on his way to visit his son and grandchildren in Montreal, Canada. However, when the train arrived in Chicago on Friday, September 14, train officials found Dowd’s luggage, cell phone and medication but no sign of the retiree. Dowd’s family is concerned for his well-being because he is disoriented as he reportedly takes medication for high blood pressure and heart disease. He was last heard from by cell phone when he spoke with his son in Denver on Thursday, September 13 and a train conductor claims to have seen Dowd near Omaha, Neb around 5:15am on Friday.
The conductor said an individual who matched Dowd’s description appeared disoriented and confused about his whereabouts. He thought he was in an apartment rather than on a train and that he needed to find the front door. Police have not confirmed whether the man seen by the conductor was Dowd.
Dowd, a resident of San Mateo, is described as a white male with blue eyes and gray hair. He stands 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 175 pounds. A Facebook page has been set up by his family to help find him. On Monday, September 17, Dowd’s family were scheduled to travel to the Amtrak station in Omaha to pass out flyers and search the area around 3pm central time. As Amtrak police work with local police departments along the train route as well as Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway police, anyone with information on this case is asked to call (800) 331-0008.
By Damian Kelly