Teams now search for body of missing 72-year-old autistic man in Pierce Township

CINCINNATI (WXIX) -Recovery efforts are underway as search crews, police, and volunteers search for the body of a missing 72-year-old autistic man from Pierce Township Saturday, according to Cincinnati Search and Recovery Chief Jeff Shari.

Thomas Mills has been missing since the evening of Dec. 6 from the Amelia Court Apartments parking lot on Ohio Pike.

“This is not a rescue mission but a recovery mission. If we find him, he’s going to be passed away,” Shari said.

A couple of days after Mills was reported missing, crews searched at retention ponds using sonar but did not have luck in finding him.

According to Ohio LandSAR (Search & Rescue) Chief John Adams, Ohio LandSAR previously searched in Rumpke dumps and at the landfill because they received tips that Mills likes to dig into the trash. Adams says they went through 6,000 tons of trash working 12-hour shifts.

On Saturday, Shari said that if Mills is found alive, he could be in a home keeping warm.

“Hopefully, he’s in a house somewhere. God bless if he’s in a house somewhere and someone is just trying to keep him warm, but basically, today is going to be a recovery looking for some body,” Shari said.

They have mapped out areas that they already covered and are going to expand their search. Crews sent out four teams of dogs Saturday, along with drones and volunteers to search for Mills.

Mills is described as 4′11″ and weighs 118 pounds with gray hair and blue eyes, according to police.

When he was last seen, he was wearing a black jacket, and police said Wednesday they think he might be on foot.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Pierce Township Police Department at 513-752-4100 or the Clermont County Communications Center at 513-732-2231.

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