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Family members of a retired San Francisco firefighter who disappeared from an Amtrak train last week are continuing to search for him in towns along the tracks in Colorado and Nebraska. Charles “Charlie” Dowd, 69, of San Mateo, was last seen by an Amtrak conductor on Thursday evening somewhere near Omaha, Neb., according to Dowd’s wife Patricia. Today, the couple’s son and daughter, who organized search parties this week in Omaha and Lincoln, are following up on reports that a passenger might have seen Dowd standing near a door of the moving train around 11 p.m. Thursday. Patricia said her husband could have looked for an open door to have a cigarette, or he might have deboarded at a station and not gotten back on in time.
The conductor who last saw her husband said he appeared to be confused about his whereabouts, and the family has said Dowd takes medication that can sometimes leave him disoriented. When the train arrived in Chicago on Friday, Dowd’s cellphone, luggage and medication were still on the train but he was nowhere to be found. The search effort today was focusing on approximately 180 miles of track between Fort Morgan, Colo., and McCook, Neb., Patricia Dowd said. Family members have reached out to hospitals and police and fire departments in towns and cities along the train route, and have appealed to the region’s residents for any information that might help the search parties.
“We’re trying to keep it in the news,” Patricia said. The family has posted pictures on a Facebook page where information can be submitted at www.facebook.com/MissingPersonCharlieDowd. Dowd is described as a white man with blue eyes and gray hair who is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds. Anyone who thinks they might have seen him is urged to call 911 immediately and relay the information to local law enforcement.
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