MOBILE — Family members of an 84-year-old Pinal County man who disappeared on the outskirts of Maricopa organized search parties Wednesday.
Max Schrader, who is hearing impaired, was last seen on April 3 and has not made contact with any of his family members. His car was found abandoned about 12 miles north of his home near Maricopa.
Teela Wagoner, the missing man’s granddaughter, said the family believes Schrader may have attempted to walk home after his car got stuck.
It’s unlike him to drive out there and not say anything, she said, but she’s been told no signs of foul play were apparent where the car was found.
Wagoner said her family is recruiting volunteers to help search the large desert area around Schrader’s home.
“We’re trying to get as many people on foot,” the granddaughter said.
Searches were done Tuesday with police dogs and a helicopter, but Wagoner said the area is a rough, bushy terrain, making it difficult to spot someone from overhead.
Schrader was last seen buying groceries at the Fry’s in Maricopa. He was wearing a red plaid shirt, blue jeans and a black vest with a Navy patch on the back.
Anyone interested in helping to search can meet at Schrader’s address, 9534 W. Schrader Lane in Maricopa. The family planned to search for most of Wednesday. As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Schrader hadn’t been found.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the case and tips can be submitted by calling 602-876-8477.
CG man jailed after fatal wreck on I-10
SACATON — Authorities have arrested a 43-year-old Casa Grande man for allegedly causing a car crash on Interstate 10 that left a California man dead Tuesday afternoon.
Angel Maldonado was taken into custody after he allegedly caused an SUV to swerve off the freeway near milepost 183, about 2 miles north of State Route 387, and roll into the median.
According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Maldonado was unsafely changing lanes, which allegedly caused 69-year-old Vincent Medrano Paredes to lose control of his car.
After the vehicle rolled, state troopers found Paredes unresponsive and he was pronounced dead. One of his passengers was transported to a Chandler hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
The victim lived in the city of Orange, located about 30 miles east of Los Angeles.
All the occupants inside both cars were wearing seat belts. The crash closed parts of the freeway’s westbound lanes for a couple of hours Tuesday afternoon.
Maldonado was booked into the Pinal County jail on suspicion of causing death with a vehicle.
PCSO call ended in a public suicide
SAN TAN VALLEY — Public records show an incident widely reported on social media involving the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office last month ended with a 56-year-old man committing suicide.
According to an autopsy report obtained by PinalCentral, the man died from a gunshot wound to his head on the afternoon of March 14. He was discovered inside a vehicle parked outside a convenience store near Gantzel and Ocotillo roads.
The man’s wife had contacted authorities to report him for allegedly molesting a child. According to the report, the man threatened suicide if he were reported to the police.
The Sheriff’s Office tracked down the man through his cellphone and located him at the convenience store. Deputies heard a gunshot as they approached the man’s vehicle.
Bystanders took videos and photos of deputies approaching the man’s vehicle and posted them on social media.
A deputy fired three rounds of a bean-bag gun at the vehicle.
Deputies then moved closer to the vehicle and discovered the man was dead.
PinalCentral inquired about the incident to PCSO the day after it happened and did not get a response.
The Pinal County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the man’s death a suicide and noted one of the beanbag rounds may have struck his face. PinalCentral generally does not identify victims of suicide.