Missing-person database helps locate Corinth man

Posted April 02, 2009, at 9:32 p.m.

CORINTH, Maine — Like many men his age, Arthur Holt is a creature of habit.

Almost every morning, the 94-year-old Exeter Road resident can be found at the local Mobil station having coffee and catching up on local happenings. Most days, he also heads over to the Countryside Restaurant for some breakfast or a bowl of fish chowder.

On Thursdays, he drives to Bangor to sing “for the old people” at Stillwater Healthcare.

He is almost always home before the sun sets.

So when Holt failed to return Wednesday to his granddaughter’s home where he lives, his family began to worry.

Holt’s plans for that day called for attending a close friend’s funeral in Dover-Foxcroft, according to the granddaughter, Tammy Shaw.

“He’s never out after dark,” Shaw said Thursday. She checked around to see whether Holt had made it to the funeral. Her worry deepened when she learned he had not. After learning that other family members, including her three children, her sister and her mother, also hadn’t seen him, Shaw reported Holt missing to the state police barracks in Orono.

“We were worried sick,” Shaw said. “Your mind starts playing tricks. You start imagining everything that could have gone wrong,” including the recent robberies on Route 15 and the possibility that her grandfather could have been the victim of a car jacking.

Trooper Seth Edwards went to Shaw’s home to gather information about Holt as well as photographs of the missing man and his blue 2000 Ford Taurus, Shaw said.

He also listed Holt with the FBI’s National Crime Information Center’s Missing Person File.

The file is a nationwide database containing records for certain categories of missing people, including those with physical or mental disabilities, who may be in physical danger, who went missing after a catastrophe or under circumstances indicating their disappearance may be involuntary, and people under the age of 21.

A media briefing was set for 2 p.m. Thursday at the Corinth Town Office to enlist the public’s aid in finding the missing man.

But one hour before the scheduled news conference, Edwards knocked on Shaw’s door.

“I expected the worst,” she said. The trooper, however, said he had good news.

Holt had been found — in good health though “a little confused” — in North Troy, Vt., Edwards said Thursday.

He said state police received a call from personnel at a border crossing station there. Holt’s name came up as a missing person in the NCIC database while border officials were checking his ID.

It was not clear Thursday why Holt was headed for Canada, Edwards said.

Shaw, however, thinks Holt might have gone to Vermont because he grew up there in a family with nine children. His only living sibling, a younger brother, still lives there. Shaw said Plainville, the town her granddad lived in, was about an hour and a half away.

Shaw said Holt’s nephew was going to pick him up at the border station and take him to his brother’s home, where he was spending the night. Shaw planned to drive to Vermont today to pick him up.

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