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Niece of missing Paonia man doesn't want him forgotten

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Photo courtesy Creek Vista Senior Living Former Paonia resident Gary Goldman, 77, remains missing after reportedly walking out of the Colorow Care Center in Olathe the morning of July 17. Niece Marla Bear Bishop, of Crawford, wants people to keep him in

Marla Bear Bishop wants her missing uncle to be found. Until he is, she doesn't want people to forget him.

Gary Goldman, 77, is a bit of a curmudgeon, she said. And he loves to walk. "My whole life I saw my uncle walking," said Bishop.

While she was growing up in Denver, she remembers that he would walk his dog about 80 blocks a day, every day. "I would say, 'Hi, Uncle G. How are you today? And he would say, 'Who wants to know?'"

About seven years ago Bishop, who is Goldman's legal guardian, moved her uncle to Paonia to live at Creek Vista. She worried about him walking in Denver and wanted him to be safe. "He was very happy at Creek Vista," she said.

He also suffers from dementia. His condition worsened, and about two months ago Bishop moved him to Colorow Care Center in Olathe. Sometime between the evening of Sunday, July 16, and early Monday, July 17, he slipped out the door and hasn't been seen since.

Goldman stands about five feet, three inches tall and weighs 165 pounds. He has brown eyes, gray hair and is missing some of his front teeth. According to the Montrose County Sheriff's Department, Goldman may have been wearing a baseball cap, dark colored sweat jacket, gray sweatpants and sneakers.

After his disappearance an outpouring of support came in from Facebook friends and residents who would see him out walking. He loved the attention he got at Colorow, said Bishop. "He wasn't someone who would be looking for a way out, except to go walking."

Bishop said that when she learned he was missing, she looked at Colorow and the Olathe area on Google Earth to see which direction he might have walked. She quickly noticed a canal flowing near the care center. There is no fence between Colorow and the canal, she said, and it would be easy for him to walk to it.

Dogs were brought in and a search was made. She walked the ditch with a member of the Olathe Police Department, the lead agency in the search.

And while the ditch seems like an obvious place for him to have gone, on the other hand, she said, temperatures were also very hot around that time. She speculates that he could have walked toward Highway 50. Maybe someone picked him up, and he wasn't able to tell them where he lived.

Until he's found, Bishop said she doesn't want people to stop looking for him. "I don't want him to be forgotten," she said.

"The Olathe Police Department has been very helpful and continues to search for him," said Bishop. And the outpouring of support from friends and from people she sees at Pickin' in the Park or around town have meant a lot, she said. "I want to thank everyone for their support."

Anyone with information on Mr. Goldman is asked to contact WestCo regional dispatch at 970-249-9110.

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