Tonawanda News — North Tonawanda police and the Niagara County Sheriff’s department conducted an intensive search Thursday for a man reported missing by his girlfriend this week.
Police said Frances Christman was last seen at 8 p.m. Tuesday taking his dog for a walk in the area of Witmer Road, after leaving his Cottage Street residence. His girlfriend reported to police a day later that he did not return and that his whereabouts remain unknown.
On Thursday, dozens of deputies and officers camped out in the county’s Mobile Command Unit stationed on Witmer Road near River Road and searched the train tracks as well as the northwest section of the city via foot, all-terrain vehicle and helicopter. The assistance of a Sheriff’s department bloodhound was also utilized to track the 35-year-old man to no avail.
North Tonawanda Police Capt. Tom Krantz said the circumstances behind Christman’s disappearance remain unknown, but called them “suspicious.” Police were unsure whether he was armed.
“He hasn’t committed any crime,” he said. “We just want to know where he is and we’re using everything at our disposal right now.”
After a day-long search, police were seen leaving the area at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, though the search will continue, Krantz said.
Christman, who may have left the city, was described as a white male, 6-feet tall and weighing 240 lbs. He has numerous tattoos, short brown hair and was last seen wearing a black fleece jacket, a dark-gray T-shirt, blue jeans and tan boots. His dog, a Rottweiler, has not been located either.
Those who may have information on Christman can contact North Tonawanda Police Lt. Karen Smith at 692-4317 or the city’s Detective Bureau at 692-4312.