MENIFEE ( — The search for a missing 61-year-old Menifee man has intensified.

Thomas Cottone went missing Monday.

KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz spoke to his distraught family Wednesday.

They said Cottone’s wheelchair made tracks outside his home located in the 26000 block of Wheat Street. The tracks go off into the distance. And then disappear.

Victoria Vicencio likes to remember her grandpa, fun, loving and in good health.

“I was over at his house every weekend so it’s really hard to see him like this you know,” she said.

A few years ago, at 55, Cottone, suffered a stroke, leaving him in an wheelchair and unable to communicate with his daughter.

“My dad raised me. When he had the stroke, it was really hard. Him being gone is just really hard,” said Andrea Vicencio. “He is my backbone.”

His family posted fliers by their Menifee home that show photos of him in the hat he wears all the time.

His daughter suspects someone might have picked him up and driven him to Riverside.

“He misses the horses in the Jurupa area, so he might have gotten somebody to give him a ride over there,” Andrea says.

His granddaughter suspects Cottone also misses his old house in Riverside. She believes that he is overwhelmed by his current condition, as he also suffers from dementia and mood swings.

The missing man is white, 6-foot-1 and about 185 pounds. When last seen, he was wearing a blue zip-up hoodie sweat shirt, blue jeans, white tennis shoes and a black baseball cap.

“I wish I could buy that house for him so he could be happy, but I can’t,” says Victoria.

Officers have been searching the fields around his home without luck. Between the heat and Thomas’ health, his family is worried.

“Anybody has any idea where he could be or they see him, please let us know,” said Victoria.


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