Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Missing man, 82, found dead in W.Va.
The Canfield man died from exposure to the elements, police said.
CANFIELD An 82-year-old city man who was missing for nine days was found dead Sunday in West Virginia more than 200 miles from where he was last seen.
Harold Hancox, 39 N. Hillside Road, had not been seen since accompanying his wife to the emergency room at St. Elizabeth Health Center on Dec. 1.
Hancox was found about 4:30 p.m. Sunday about 220 miles from Youngstown in Ripley, W.Va., on a logging road, where he had driven over a small embankment. Members of the Jackson County sheriff's office found him several feet from the vehicle, indicating he tried to walk for help. Hancox died of natural causes brought on by exposure to the elements, police said.
Hancox had made daily visits to Ron Joy Nursing Home, in Boardman, where his wife, Edna, was a resident. On Dec. 1, the staff had to take his wife to the emergency room at St. Elizabeth Health Center. Hancox followed the nursing home van in his vehicle because he could not remember the way, said Pat Ivany, admissions coordinator for Ron Joy.
Nurses reported seeing Hancox in the emergency room and later with his wife when she was given a room. He left when visiting hours were over at 8 p.m.
After checking his house and finding he was not there, the nursing home reported him missing to police Sunday. The drive from Youngstown to Ripley is about 31/2 hours, according to Yahoo Local Maps.
Ivany said Hancox is well-known at the nursing home. He came in at dinnertime, she said, and after eating, he would sit by his wife's bed.
But within the past week or so, he didn't come in as much, she said, and he appeared one morning at 4 a.m. thinking it was time to eat supper. Hancox's daughter, Alicia MacMillan of Slippery Rock, Pa., said he had experienced recent memory lapses and confusion.
Hancox retired in 1998 as an auxiliary officer in the Canfield Police Department.