Police, family continue vigil for missing Laurel man

Thursday, Sept. 21, 2006

Police and family members continue to seek the public’s help in locating James Henry Towler Sr., a 77-year-old Laurel man who has been missing since Labor Day.

Towler, who has Alzheimer’s and has wandered off before, has not been seen since around 3 p.m. Sept. 4, family members said.

Towler is described as a black male, 6-feet 2-inches tall and about 225 pounds. He was last seen wearing gray sweatpants, a blue-collared shirt and black tennis shoes.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s District VI station at 301-937-0910.

The missing man’s son, James Henry Towler Jr., said he believes his father walked out of a side gate at the home they share in the 8900 block of Snow Acres Drive. The son said the two were on separate levels of the two-story home when his father apparently wandered off.

‘‘It’s difficult, but you’ve got have faith that everything’s going to be all right,” the junior Towler said at a candlelight vigil for his father in Landover on Wednesday. ‘‘Without faith all is lost.”

Earlier Wednesday, police issued their second bulletin on the elder Towler, whom they’ve labeled a ‘‘critical missing person.”

Police said a person matching the missing man’s description was spotted lying in a grassy area near Route 197 and Briarwood Drive around 5 p.m. Sept. 6 but authorities were unable to locate the man.

The elder Towler lived in Southeast Washington, D.C., before moving in with his son two months ago, his son said.

Cpl. Debbie Carlson, a police spokeswoman, said no foul play is suspected in James Henry Towler Sr.’s disappearance.