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Blood found at Golden crash scene, but no sign of elderly driver

Posted at 11:42 AM, Dec 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-16 18:04:27-05

GOLDEN, Colo. — Police in Golden are searching for an elderly man who disappeared after crashing his truck into a railcar. 

Blood was found inside the cab of the abandoned pickup truck after railroad workers came upon the crash scene Thursday morning, but there was no sign of the truck’s owner, 87-year-old James Mitchell. 

A search of the truck revealed contact information, which led police to Mitchell’s home — but no one answered the door. Police later spoke to Mitchell’s son, who confirmed that his father was missing. 

Karlyn Tilley, a spokeswoman with Golden police, said that Mitchell had been in Arvada with friends Wednesday evening, and it was unclear why he was in Golden. Police said he may be suffering from dementia and crashed his truck sometime during the night. 

Mitchell is a retired postal worker, who has lived in the same Arvada neighborhood for nearly 50 years, according to neighbors.

“He actually loved to walk, and liked to walk a lot,” said Tilley. “And so that’s why we put our search through the miles we put it because he was in very good shape for being someone who is 87 years old.”

Tilley said they did foot searches for several miles in every direction from the crash site, including searches with drones and bloodhounds. They especially searched the Tucker Gulch area after the dogs indicated something was there.

Now, they are asking people in Golden to check their backyards and sheds, in case Mitchell may be hiding or sleeping inside them.

Mitchell was last seen wearing a blue fleece vest, solid black short-sleeved shirt, khaki cargo pants and black athletic shoes with Velcro closures. Police say he does not have any identification or a cell phone with him.

He is described as being 5-feet 10-inches tall and weighs about 180 pounds. He has blue eyes and thinning gray hair. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Golden Police Department at 303-384-8045.