Volunteer searchers needed for missing Rochester man

70-year-old missing grandfather, former reverend last seen in early July


ROCHESTER, Mich. – The family of a 70-year-old man who went missing in July says they are desperately trying to learn the whereabouts of their beloved family member.

Rochester police said George Vanderweit was last seen Friday, July 5th at 9:20 a.m. in the area of Runyon and Dequindre.

The family said Vanderweit was last seen that morning wearing a red shirt with "Bargains" written on it and olive green shorts. He was riding an older, lime green "racing-style" bicycle.

Vanderweit, a former reverend and popular figure in the ministry for over 40 years, is 5-foot 9-inches tall and weighed about 178 pounds. Officials said he left his wallet at home and has not accessed any funds from his bank accounts.

Previous search efforts have failed, but police K-9 units did pick up on a scent at a few points during their efforts, the family says.

Organizers for the search effort will be staging in the parking lot of the Kroger Store at the corner of 25 mile and Dequindre.

The search will run throughout the morning and afternoon on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10 and 11. Staging will begin at 8 a.m.

Water, light refreshments and an aide station will be made available for volunteers. Organizers said volunteers will be needed for actual ground search efforts through wooded areas, and for search base operations, as well.

Searchers will need to be adults, however organizers said minors ages 16 to 18 will be permitted to participate if they have a parent or guardian with them.

Searchers must be prepared for the weather, bring sunblock and bug repellant, and wear clothing that is appropriate for tall grass, dense wooded areas, and varying terrain, officials said.

Those interested in helping the search effort are encouraged to call Amanda at 248-494-2567, or email her by clicking here.