Silver Alert canceled: Missing Towanda man located safe

KWCH Eyewitness News 12
KWCH Eyewitness News 12(KWCH)
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 3:32 PM CDT
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BUTLER COUNTY – Update Friday, July 1, 2022: A Silver Alert has been canceled for 71-year-old Joseph Hayes.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office said he was found safe around 4:30 p.m. on Friday near Benton, Arkansas. Hayes was discovered by law enforcement in Arkansas after a citizen report. He was taken to the hospital to be medically evaluated, but will soon be reunited with his family.

Update Thursday, June 30, 2022: The Texarkana, Texas Police Department confirmed 71-year-old Joseph Hayes made his way to the area more than 400 miles from his Butler County home. Thursday evening, police said Hayes’ phone was pinged a few days ago in the New Boston area, headed toward Dequeen, Arkansas on Highway 8.

Hayes, left his Towanda home on June 20 on his way to Anniston, Alabama to visit family. Police said on Sunday, he talked with family on the phone and “told them that he’d somehow gotten turned around in Ft. Worth,” Texarkana police said.

“They suggested that he come back home to Kansas, but he didn’t do that. Traffic cameras last read his vehicle plate number on I-35 near San Antonio, but his cell phone was pinged in our area since. There’s been no contact of any kind since then,” the department said.

Police confirmed Hayes was driving his black 2014 Dodge Ram truck with Kansas license plate 576-HZW. Police said his truck has a black bull bar on the front and a black tool box mounted in the bed of the truck.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation said Hayes has suffered a previous stroke, has high blood pressure, and his family indicates that he has shown signs of dementia.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) are asking for the public’s help to locate 71-year-old Joseph Moody Hayes.

A Statewide Silver Alert has been issued for the missing Towanda man. Authorities say on Monday, June 20, he left his home in Towanda en route to Anniston, Alabama to visit family but never made it.

While traveling, Hayes contacted family members and informed them that he had gotten turned around in the Fort Worth, Texas area. They suggested he turn around and head back to Kansas, but Hayes never arrived in Kansas.

On Thursday, June 23, Hayes’ vehicle was spotted by a license plate reader in Williamson County, Texas. One of his daughters made contact with him over the phone on Sunday, June 26, and he believed he was in the Dallas, Texas area.

Hayes is a 71-year-old white male. He is around 5 ft. 8 in. tall and weighs 175 lbs. He has blue eyes and grey hair. He has suffered a previous stroke, has high blood pressure, and his family indicates that he has shown signs of dementia.

When he left his home on June 20, Hayes was driving a 2014 Black Dodge Ram 1500 bearing Kansas tag 576HZW.

If you see Joseph Hayes, his vehicle, or have information about his whereabouts, please immediately contact 911 or the Butler County Sheriff’s Office at 316-322-4398.

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