Family asks for community help in finding father missing in Newport News

Newport News

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The family of a man missing in Newport News since Tuesday morning is sending a heart-wrenching message with the hope he comes back home safely.

“We just hope Leon gets home very, very, soon. Come on home daddy come home please,” Daphne Francis, the missing man’s wife, said Thursday.

Leon Francis, 62, has been missing since Tuesday morning and is considered endangered.

He was last seen by Daphne Francis around 6:10 a.m. at their home off Wynn Drive.

“It was raining that morning, he left the house suddenly, he didn’t have on the proper clothing from what we’ve seen on the neighbors film, and we’re just praying and hoping wherever he is, that he’s safe,” said Daphne Francis.

Virginia State Police issued a Senior Alert Wednesday for Leon Francis and sent a helicopter Thursday to aid Newport News Police in their search.

Daphne says a neighbor’s surveillance camera caught Leon Francis that morning walking by wearing only a T-shirt, one shoe, and what appeared to be shorts or boxers.

She says he has Parkinson’s disease and has been off his medication since he went missing, which causes a lot of concern.

“Maybe this disease just took over and he felt overwhelmed and felt like he just needed to get away. If you all see him out there, please let him know we just want him home, he needs to come back home,” Daphne Francis said.

She says Newport News Police found his umbrella in the woods behind a Wendy’s.

Police say they’ve been checking everywhere, from canvassing neighborhoods, to checking hospitals and shelters.

The Francis’s daughter, Sheila Francis, says the family is doing all they can to stay strong and they appreciate the police and community’s help.

Leon Francis

“My biggest fear is somebody hurting him, him being at the wrong place, or being with someone that’s crazy. You just never know. It’s been this long. We’re trying not to let the negative thoughts overpower, but this is not like him,” Sheila Francis said.

What’s keeping their spirits up? How supportive the community has been.

“Neighbors, over 25 people, came to the house yesterday … putting up flyers from Jefferson to Warwick, even Williamsburg and Hampton,” Daphne Francis said.

Leon Francis is about 5 feet 8 inches tall and 160 pounds.

Daphne Francis says she’s especially worried for his well-being as the temperatures are supposed to drop and he didn’t have on the proper clothes.

Anyone who sees Leon Francis is asked to contact police at 757-247-2500.

The family says they’ll take all the prayers they can get.

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