Search for missing 70-year-old man expands

Search for missing 70-year-old man expands

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The search for a missing 70-year-old man expanded over the weekend as family members and volunteers canvassed neighborhoods from Kalihi to Waikiki.

Kakaako resident Chang Ho Han, who suffers from dementia, has been missing for nine days and family members fear his trail has gotten cold.

"I miss him so much," said the man's daughter, Rachel Song.

"I just want to tell him that we love him so much."

Han was last seen last Friday on a surveillance video, leaving his apartment complex on Waimanu Street. Tipsters told family members that he had been seen in Kalihi but searches in that area have turned up nothing.

Han, who moved to Hawaii about 20 years ago, worked as limousine driver for a local tour company, before retiring.

Over the weekend, about two dozen people walked from neighborhood to neighborhood showing residents flyers of the missing man. Many of them were volunteers who had never met the man but were touched by his family's plight.

"It's just very kind of them to all pitch in and look for him," said Lora Han, the man's niece.

Nuuanu resident Robin Ide said she heard about Han going missing after watching the news and wanted to do something because she had been in the position several years before. She says a relative, who also has dementia, went missing for several hours before he was found hours later.

"Looking for a missing person ... is like looking for a needle in the haystack," she said.

Friends and family members said Han's case underscores the need for a statewide alert system for seniors, just like the Amber or Maile alerts for missing children.

The public first heard of Han's plight two days after he disappeared. A public alert system for seniors, also known as a Silver Alert, would have informed the public of Han's disappearance immediately, perhaps increasing his chances of being found.

"I strongly feel that we need to have that here -- especially here in Hawaii where a lot of elderly people on our islands," said Lora Han.

A bill for a Silver Alert system is now making its way through the state Legislature. In the meantime, Han's family members are pressing on with their search.

Copyright 2014 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.