BYRON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - What happened to Derek Adams? It is a question that has left his family and investigators baffled.
The 46-year old man, who suffers from mental illness, has not been seen or heard from in more than 9-months. He was last seen at his home in a rural section of Western Maine in the town of Byron. Extensive searches of the area have turned up nothing.
“People were out searching looking in cabins, looking in abandoned camps, along the river bank, in the woods, on snowshoes, on snowmobiles”, said his sister Erin Gurney.
Did he walk off into the woods behind his home, down to the store for cigarettes or did someone pick him up in vehicle?
“Those are all million dollar questions, each one of those. Those are the ones when we go to bed at night we think about and those are the ones we wake up in the morning and think about”, said his brother-in-law Daryl Gurney.
9 months after he was last seen, his family and investigators appear no close to answering those questions. Derek Adams suffered from Schizoaffective disorder. He was last seen in his basement apartment at 38 Noyes Road in Byron on December 28th, just hours before major snowstorm hit. The next morning he was gone.
“There were just no tracks that morning when they discovered he was missing”, said Erin Gurney.
Besides no footprints in the snow, there were other puzzling discoveries. Derek needed glasses to see. They were left behind and the door to his apartment was left open.
“I don’t know what to think, I really have no idea, I'm totally baffled”, said his mother Dottie Adams.
While his family holds out hope Derek will be found, they’ve accepted that its unlikely he’s still alive. To thank everyone who helped and to keep his story in the public eye, the family will hold a remembrance service in his honor.
“To help give some kind of closure even though we have no idea what happened or where he might be or anything”, said Dottie Adams.
The remembrance service for Derek will be held a week from Saturday, October 14th in the lodge at Black Mountain in Rumford. If you have any information about this case you are urged to contact the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-733-1421.