Original Disney Mouseketeer Dennis Day Has Been Missing for 6 Months: Reports
His family reportedly didn't find out about until they saw a missing persons report on TV in January
Dennis Day, one of the original Disney Mouseketeers from the 1950s, has been missing for over six months.
Lt. Jeff Price from the Phoenix, Oregon police department confirmed to PEOPLE that Day is currently a missing person. “I initiated the case on July 27 of 2018,” Price said. “As of today, with the help of the Oregon State Police, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, National Missing and Unidentified Person System, and numerous friends and family, the case remains open with no leads as to Dennis’s whereabouts.”
Though Day, 76, has been missing from Phoenix since July 15, according to the Mail Tribune, his family didn’t find out about until they saw a missing persons report on TV in January, NBC News reports.
The July missing persons report was reportedly filed by Day’s husband, Ernie Caswell, who suffers from “age-related memory loss.”
“Ernie was in the hospital at that time, and he realized Dennis hadn’t come to visit him in a few weeks,” Day’s sister, Nelda Adkins, told NBC. “So he had someone from the hospital call the police and report Dennis as missing.”
In January, one of Day’s family members turned on the television to see a missing persons report for him.
“He saw it on the news broadcast and called us immediately,” Adkins said. “I called Phoenix Police Department the very next day, and we’ve been working on it ever since. The whole family got in on it.”
According to NBC, Day’s case is being handled by the Phoenix Police Department and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Police reportedly told Adkins that a roommate who was living in Day and Caswell’s home said that Day had left on foot the last time he was seen, saying he was going to visit friends.
“Ernie, at the time, was in the hospital, so he wasn’t even at the house,” Adkins added. “Dennis had a car, but the car was left behind. He left his dog and his cat behind, too — he loved them dearly, just like children.”
Adkins claimed that when she spoke to police, they said that they had already searched Day’s home and a nearby graveyard and creek.
According to local station KOBI-TV, police also found Day’s car along the Oregon coast with two people inside. The station reported that the people inside were not known by Day or Caswell and the finding of the car didn’t lead anywhere.
“They said they brought in cadaver dogs, too,” Adkins added. “But they never found anything that would imply a crime had happened.”
Disney’s The Mickey Mouse Club first aired from 1955-1959. The children’s variety show was rebooted in 1977 and then again, most famously, from 1989-1994, when future A-list entertainers Britney Spears, Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera starred as singing and dancing Mouseketeers.
According to the Mail Tribune, Day was a Mouseketeer from 1956-57 and a “long-time entertainer and director for the California Renaissance Pleasure Faires & Dickens Fair.”
“He’s not the type of person who would just disappear. Especially with his significant other being in the hospital — he was very dedicated to him, ” Day’s niece Denise told NBC. “We are worried. [We] just need answers. We love him. We’re just kind of lost with what to do, or how to find him.”
“I miss our conversations, I miss swapping vegetables with him over the fence,” Allie Jensen, Dennis Day’s neighbor told KOBI-TV.
According to a Facebook page set up to help find him, Day is described as 5’7″ with gray and brown hair, weighing approximately 150 lbs.
Anyone with information about Day’s disappearance is encouraged to call Lt. Jeff Price of the Phoenix Police Department at 541-535-1113, ext. 309, or the anonymous tip line at 1-888-960-6450.