• Search discontinued for missing Rowan County man; case turned over to Spencer PD

    By: Briana Harper , Tina Terry

    Updated:

    ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. - Search and rescue crews said they have discontinued the search for a missing Rowan County man who was reported missing last Monday evening. 

    Rowan Communications said the case has been officially turned over to the Spencer Police Department. 

    K-9s, helicopters, and dozens of people continued to desperately search for Travis throughout the week. 

    A Silver Alert was issued for Travis. Police said Travis is an avid runner who never returned home on Monday.

    "Been a good neighbor ever since I've known him, and you can't sit at home and watch the clock. You got to get out and do something," neighbor Roger Beasley said.

    Authorities told Channel 9 that Travis suffers from dementia and they are worried he may be disoriented.

    More than a dozen agencies were out searching again on Thursday, along with more than 100 volunteers. 

    “This is not a recovery mission. This is still a rescue mission, and we’re going to do absolutely everything we can," Spencer Police Chief Michael James said at a news conference. 

    “Everybody loves him in the whole neighborhood,” neighbor Jerry Smith said. “You wouldn’t believe the people down at the house last night, all day today.”

    Smith thinks he may have been the last to see Travis jogging his usual route on Sowers Ferry Road in Salisbury around 3 p.m. Monday.

    “I stopped and talked to him and I said, ‘And what about the ball game tonight?’ With Carolina and Virginia,” Smith said. “He just said, ‘Go Duke. Go Duke.’ He’s a big Duke fan, like I am.“

    Travis never came home to catch that game and didn’t show up the next morning.

    Channel 9's Blaine Tolison watched as officers went into the woods after allowing a K-9 to smell a bag of clothes to catch Travis' scent earlier this week. State officials are also using drones and helicopters to conduct the search.

    “We are all uptight about this situation,” Smith said.

    Travis is described as thin, about 6 feet tall, 157 pounds, with gray hair. He was last seen wearing black running shorts, a silver rain jacket and gloves.

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    Police received a 911 call around 5:30 p.m. Monday to report Travis missing. His home is on Steeple Chase Trail in Salisbury, but he was last seen nearly a mile from his house, on Sowers Ferry Road.

    He was on foot and heading toward Highway 29, police said.

    Authorities are very worried about Travis’ safety and are asking everyone in the area to keep an eye out.

    Police said they don't suspect foul play at this time.

    Authorities are asking residents around the Spencer and Salisbury area to check any areas around their property that someone could have hidden.

    If you have any information about this investigation, police are asking people to call 911.

    Check back with wsoctv.com for updates on this story.

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