Thursday, January 26, 2012

Missing man's wife searches from sky

RUIDOSO, N.M. (KRQE) - The family of a Ruidoso man who went missing last Friday is stopping at nothing to try and find him. Thursday his wife got into a plane to search for any sign of him.

Thursday marks day six since Kenneth Payne, 73, was last seen. He suffers from Alzheimer's disease and walked away from his home.

On Thursday morning Payne's wife of 32-years took to the sky to try and find her husband.

"He loves art, and he loves flying," Karen Payne said. "Doing all this flying today reminds me of how many times we've flown."

Kenneth Payne was a local artist and sculptor. A man of many trades, his wife said he used to own a plane and flew until four years ago.

A year and a half ago he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

Local pilot Ron Massey volunteered his time to help with the search, something he said, he hopes someone would do for him in the same circumstance.

"It's like looking for a needle in a haystack, but we feel we've at least eliminated the idea that he might have fallen down a ledge, down the side of the highway or something like that," Massey said.

Their search covered the country from Hondo toward Roswell.

At one time Kenneth managed the Lovington Airport, and Karen said much of his flying was in and out of Texas, a place his family thinks his memories may lead him.

Kenneth was last seen by truck drivers around 2 p.m. Friday walking in Hondo. His wife said she thinks he may be hitchhiking.

"I'm very concerned about him," she continued. "He has no money, he has, no warm clothes.

"He's easy to love, and I just can't imagine that someone wouldn't help him if they see him."

She said someone may not have noticed his condition right away, but without his medication, Karen said her husband's Alzheimer's is likely more noticeable.

"We just want to know that he's safe, and I hope to have a call from Texas, anywhere you know," she said. "Many people will be so happy to have him home. We all love him so much."

She said Kenneth would often go for walks around their home, so she wasn't worried at first. But he's never been gone for more than a couple hours.

Kenneth Payne is considered an endangered missing person due to his health condition.

Anyone who sees him is urged to call police.


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