Newtown police this week continued their probe into the whereabouts of Robert Hoagland, 50, of Glen Road in Sandy Hook, who disappeared from his property on Sunday, July 28.
“He is still missing and we are actively following up leads,” Newtown Police Detective Lieutenant Richard Robinson said on the morning of Thursday, September 19.
On Tuesday, police probed two reported sightings of Mr Hoagland that day near the Rhode Island-Connecticut border.
Police said Rhode Island Department of Transportation workers on Route 195 in the West Greenwich, R.I., area believed they saw Mr Hoagland. A man fitting Mr Hoagland’s description was reported as being seen with a large backpack, police said. The man was walking westward on Route 165 from Rhode Island toward Connecticut, near Voluntown.
A passing motorist also contacted Newtown police on Tuesday about having seen a man appearing to be Mr Hoagland in that area. Newtown police contacted state police in Montville. State troopers and local police were unable to locate the person who was walking along Route 165, however. Route 165 runs through Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Det Lt Robinson said he hopes police will be able to determine whether the sightings were actually Mr Hoagland, and not some other man who looks like him.
If police find Mr Hoagland, they would verify that he is healthy and safe and tell him that his family wants him to return home, Det Lt Robinson said. However, police could not compel Mr Hoagland to return home, he said.
This week’s sightings were not the first where people thought they saw the missing Sandy Hook resident in the neighboring state. During the first week of this month, police were pursuing tips that Mr Hoagland had been seen in the Warwick, R.I., area.
Appointment Of Trustee
The Probate Court of Northern Fairfield County has scheduled an October 8 hearing on an “application for the appointment of a trustee when a person has disappeared” in connection with Mr Hoagland’s disappearance.
Attorney James Gaston, who represents Mr Hoagland’s relatives, explained that in such a situation a person, serving as a trustee, is bonded and appointed by the court to oversee the assets of the missing individual in connection with the support of minor children and the spouse. A surety bond is required in such cases.
“We all hope and pray that Bob is well and found soon, so that the hearing and trustee appointment is unnecessary,” said Mr Gaston.
Lori Hoagland, who is Mr Hoagland’s wife, has mounted an effort with friends to find her missing husband. They have publicized his disappearance on the Internet, as well as distributed handbills bearing his likeness and descriptive information.
Mrs Hoagland said Wednesday that last weekend she a group of her friends conducted a search of wooded areas lying within in a three-mile radius of the Hoagland’s Glen Road property in seeking her husband.
The search involved areas including Riverside Road in Sandy Hook and River Road in Southbury, she said.
“We’ve been looking,” she said, adding that the searches of wooded areas will continue.
Mrs Hoagland said that Mr Hoagland’s brother has hired a private investigator in seeking to locate her husband.
“We’re hopeful” that the Rhode Island sightings result in her husband being found, she said.
“I’m looking forward to some sort of closure,” she said of the uncertainty that her husband’s disappearance has caused.
“This has been very difficult on all of us,” she said, adding that she hopes the situation is resolved soon.
Newtown police have been seeking Mr Hoagland since he was reported missing by his wife on July 29 after she returned from a trip overseas.
In seeking to eliminate possibilities, on September 1, police made a sonar search of a section of Lake Zoar in seeking whether Mr Hoagland’s body might be found there. They have also done extensive dog searches for him. The lake search and dog searches produced no results.
Mr Hoagland is a self-employed real estate appraiser. He also works for an attorney in Bridgeport.
He was last publicly seen inside the convenience store at the Mobil gas station at 62 Church Hill Road at about 6:45 am on Sunday, July 28. Later that day, he was last seen at his home before his disappearance.
Mr Hoagland is white, 6 feet tall, and weighs 175 pounds. He is bald and has blue eyes.
Newtown police said that anyone with knowledge of Mr Hoagland’s whereabouts should contact the detective unit at the Newtown Police Department at 3 Main Street, telephone 203-426-5841.