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Community comes together to search for missing Princeton man

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The search continues for a man from Princeton, Ont. who was last seen on Saturday.

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) say 37-year-old Gary left his home on Township Road 2, on foot, at around 1:30 p.m.

He was last seen near the railroad tracks at Main Street North and Railway Street West in Princeton, located in the township of Blandford-Blenheim.

In a tweet posted Friday morning, OPP said a large number of volunteers from the community have gathered to search the area.

"We want to put a reminder out that approximately 200 people are descending in Princeton and will be heading out to search for Gary," OPP Sgt. Ed Sanchuk said in a video update.

At around 11:20 a.m., OPP advised the public of a stop train order in effect on Railway Street and asked people to avoid the area.

“There are some concerns for Gary’s safety and well-being,” OPP Sgt. Ed Sanchuk said on Tuesday.

That’s because Gary has a traumatic brain injury and requires medication, which he does not have with him.

Considering he went missing on Saturday, concern is growing by the hour.

“I spoke to Gary’s family yesterday and today, and I can’t even imagine what their family is going through. Just put yourself in their position,” Sanchuk said in an interview with CTV News.

Like other police services, provincial police don’t often provide a last name in missing person’s cases.

Gary is described as 6’2” tall and weighing approximately 215 lbs. He has short black hair, as well as scruffy facial hair. He also has tattoos on his arms and a large tribal tattoo on his back, which could help in identifying him.

At the time of his disappearance, Gary was wearing camouflage shorts, a black t-shirt and a black hoodie.

“Gary is well-known in the community,” said Sanchuk. “Please get out there and check your properties and let us know if you’ve seen something.”

Despite police saying Gary has limited mobility due to his condition, there are significant search efforts on both the ground and in the air.

“We’ve had the London search and rescue unit out here, aviation services, canine services, our major crime [team], we’ve also had our emergency response team and – we’re going to call in a drone,” Sanchuk explained. “We are continually searching for Gary.”

Police are also asking residents to check their backyards and outbuildings for any sign of Gary.

OPP say they aren’t giving up on finding the 37-year-old.

“We’re going to have a presence until we locate Gary,” said Sanchuk.

Anyone with information on this missing person investigation, including video footage, is asked to call the Oxford OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or *677 (*OPP) from a cell phone.

Should you wish to remain anonymous, you can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submit an online tip at www.oxfordcrimestoppers.com where you may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000. 

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