Yet Another Victim of Dementia Gone Missing

Kadence Burke and Alexa Simone

On July 7th, at 12:15 a.m. a 79 year old man named John Matson was reported missing from his home in Hampstead by his wife. John was last seen on July 6th around 7-8 p.m. in a trailer park walking towards the woodline. It is also important to note that John has dementia. Despite extreme efforts, dozens of canines being sent out, and extensive searches and alerts, there still have been no clues turned up on what happened to John Matson.


According to The Eagle Tribute, John was not allowed to drive due to his worsening condition, but before he left he asked for the keys to the car. Rita Matson, his wife said, “But that day, as I was leaving, he asked me for the car keys. He had forgotten.” Due to this, his wife thinks that he may have hitch-hiked to another state. 


William L. Putnam News says it has been two months since he was first reported missing, and there has not been a single lead on what happened to this man. Rita says it’s like he disappeared. His wife and many others just hope he’s safe from the swamp and thick woods that surround their home that he went missing from.


BeingPatient said that about 70% of people with dementia go missing at some point after being diagnosed. Meanwhile, the National Library of Medicine says that 75% of those 70% are never found or are found dead. Many of those who died are typically found in the woods, fields, abandoned structures, or in water. The lucky few who are found, alive or dead, are found wandering where there aren’t any crowds, noise, or a place from the past they remembered.


Multiple students at TRHS also suggested the possibility of kidnapping. Hitchhiking is very dangerous and can often result in kidnapping rather than getting a peaceful ride to your requested destination. Perhaps his wifes theory was right, but it didn’t end the way they hoped it had. Everyone wants to be hopeful and pray for the best, but things aren’t looking good, especially with the lack of clues and how long it’s been. Hopefully, John will turn up soon.