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Garden Grove Man Disappears From Work : Missing: Property manager was last seen while checking a rental complex in Santa Ana on Thursday. Family and police are baffled.


GARDEN GROVE — A 44-year-old property manager who acquaintances say never missed an appointment has disappeared under "suspicious circumstances" and is listed as missing, police said Sunday.

Philip George Cousins of Garden Grove was last seen inspecting an apartment complex at 1330 Bush St. in Santa Ana on Thursday.

Cousins, who managed residential property for a Santa Ana-based real estate management company, left the apartments at 12:15 p.m. and has not been heard from since. Also missing is his two-door, 1990 silver Honda Accord.

"He has never done this. He always keeps his business appointments and always comes home," said Cousins' wife, Ruth. She said she called police early Friday when he still had not returned.

Garden Grove police Sgt. Joe Johnson said Sunday that police are searching for Cousins' car and any evidence of his whereabouts. Based on information provided by family and friends, Johnson said he is suspicious because Cousins' disappearance appears "out of character."

He said there is no evidence of foul play.

A property manager for the last 15 years, Cousins often collects rent and sometimes handles cash, his wife said. Johnson said police haven't determined whether any money is missing.

Nancy Schaaf, owner of Preferred Real Estate Management where Cousins works, said, "He is very dependable and one of the hardest workers we have. He was in the office on Thursday and went to a few properties. He told one of the managers that he would be back at the office at 1:30 in the afternoon. The next morning his wife called us and said he had not returned home."

Ruth Cousins has hired a Westminster private investigator to help locate her missing husband. The investigator, Bob Leatherman, said he interviewed fellow employees and tenants who saw Cousins last Thursday.

After "running down rumors" that proved false, Leatherman said, he still has no solid leads.

"Philip did not leave a written itinerary of his daily plans and it's difficult to piece together his exact trail," Leatherman said.

On Sunday, family and friends posted more than 2,000 flyers in shopping malls and on telephone poles in Santa Ana, Anaheim and Garden Grove, Ruth Cousins said. She said her husband, who was born in Northridge and has spent the last 20 years in Orange County, is in fine health.

Philip Cousins was last seen wearing a short-sleeve shirt, tie, slacks and work shoes. He is 5 feet 9, 170 pounds, with brown hair that is thinning and brown eyes. His California license plate is 2RTR372. Anyone with information is asked to call Garden Grove police at (714) 741-5800.

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