:: kgw.com | Tip brings hope to search for deaf Clark Co. man ::
on Monday, April 9, 2007
By kgw.com and AP Staff
VANCOUVER, Wash. — A tip from a stranger brought encouraging news to the family of a missing deaf and developmentally disabled man from Clark County, authorities said.
Khoi Vu’s family reported him missing Saturday and then on Sunday, an unidentified woman called 9-1-1 after seeing a story about Vu on television. She told police Vu joined her sons on the basketball court at Ellsworth Elementary School around 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
Vu’s family said they were sure the tip was not a hoax, because of the details the woman shared about Vu and his love for basketball. The woman also said the man was very thirsty and drank a water bottle she gave him in a matter of seconds.
Vu’s family last saw him around 1 a.m. on Saturday.
“He was watching TV in his mother’s room. He said to her ‘okay, goodnight’ and blew her a kiss and left presumably to go to bed and that’s the last time we saw him,” recalled Vu’s brother-in-law, Josh Dylka.
Deputies said Vu, 25, only has the mental capacity of a 10-year-old and communicates with sign language.
Vu’s family said they have no idea why he would leave the house. They were worried he might be disoriented and possibly hiding for fear that he was “in trouble.”
Family and friends were handing out flyers and making phone calls to try and get the word out to anyone who may have spotted Vu since he disappeared.
Police said a K-9 dog reacted as if it had picked up Vu’s scent a few miles from his house, but the possible trail fizzled out. Then on Sunday, a dog also appeared to find Vu’s scent near the Ellsworth basketball court. But that trail did not go far, either.
Police said they were also following up on several more tips, but the woman’s report at the school was the strongest lead so far.
He was described as standing about 5’5″ tall with black hair and brown eyes. Anyone who sees Vu is asked to call 9-1-1.
Vu’s family said he is extremely trusting and friendly to everyone. And except for a recent scare when he was found hiding in a dumpster near his house, Vu has never strayed from home before.
Vu’s family had planned to leave early Saturday for a weekend trip to Seattle to celebrate his mom’s birthday, and he was very excited about the trip; even more reason why his brother was baffled that he left home. Continue