James Mitchell remains missing and endangered

Arvada senior vanished a month ago without a trace


An investigation into the mid-December disappearance of 87-year-old James Mitchell of Arvada continues.

The Golden Police is investigating all avenues that might lead to his whereabouts, said Golden Police Capt. Joe Harvey, but there are there are no major revelations in the case.

“At this point, Mr. Mitchell is still missing and endangered,” Harvey said.

The public is asked to keep Mitchell's image fresh in mind, and anybody with any information is asked to contact the Golden Police Department.

“We will look into every one of those leads,” Harvey said.

Just after 8 a.m. on Dec. 14, railroad workers at the depot in Golden discovered an abandoned pickup truck that had crashed into one of the railcars sometime during the night prior.

The workers reported it to police, who identified Mitchell as the vehicle's owner.

Arvada Police Department went to Mitchell's home for a welfare check, but found no one there.

After attempting to reach Mitchell on several phone numbers that Golden police officers found inside the truck, one of the department's investigators was able to speak with Mitchell's son, who confirmed that his father is missing.

Mitchell's family has requested that all questions and media inquiries be directed to the Golden Police Department.

The Golden Police's investigation into the incident reveals that Mitchell had gone bowling with a group of friends and family on the night of his disappearance. A neighbor said that Mitchell had called him to say that he was returning to the bowling alley to retrieve his wallet because he could have possibly misplaced it there, Harvey said.

However, his son found his wallet and cell phone in Mitchell's home, Harvey said.

The bowling alley is thought to be in the Westminster area or other nearby vicinity of Mitchell's Arvada home, and how he ended up in Golden is unknown, Harvey said.

“The location of the traffic accident is very odd,” he added.

Mitchell is 5 feet and 10 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. He has blue eyes and thinning gray hair. He was last seen wearing a blue fleece vest, a black short sleeve shirt, khaki cargo pants and black athletic shoes with Velcro closures. He does not have any identification or a cell phone with him.

Mitchell was possibly injured from the crash — police found a small amount of blood inside the truck cab. It was tested and the DNA came back to Mitchell, Harvey said.

There is no way of knowing what type of injury the blood came from, Harvey said.

But, he added, “our investigation to date has not revealed any facts that would lead us to believe foul play was involved.”

According to his family, Mitchell may be in the early stages of suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's, Harvey said.

The Golden Police Department conducted three unsuccessful searches for Mitchell, which has included the use of bloodhounds, cadaver dogs and drones. The final search took place at about 7:30 a.m. Dec. 20. The search area encompassed several miles of paths and trails, rugged hillsides and residential areas.

“We certainly want to find him,” Harvey said. “We will continue our active investigation until we have no further leads.”


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