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81-year-old Placentia newlywed disappears

Robert Harrod, who married his childhood sweetheart just weeks ago, was last seen Monday afternoon. His car and glasses are at his house, police say, but his wallet and keys are missing.

July 31, 2009|My-Thuan Tran

Placentia police ramped up their search Thursday for an 81-year-old man who vanished just weeks after marrying his childhood sweetheart.

Robert "Bob" Harrod was last seen Monday afternoon at his home on Carnation Drive by his son-in-law, who told authorities that he went to Home Depot and that when he returned, Harrod was gone, said Placentia Police Det. Corinne Loomis. Harrod's wife filed a missing persons report that night.

Harrod and Fontelle Heeter wed June 29 in Fullerton. The two had reunited after 59 years apart. After the wedding, Fontelle Harrod went back to her home in Missouri to pack up her possessions; she returned to Placentia on Wednesday. She has not heard from Harrod since Sunday, Loomis said.

Loomis said police initially thought Harrod left because he had gotten into an argument with another family member; they had hoped he would return when his wife came back to Placentia.

"My personal sense was that if he did not return home by dark Wednesday night, we have a big problem," Loomis said. "We didn't ramp up a serious investigation in hopes he would come home yesterday. That was the break point."

Harrod's car and glasses are at the house, Loomis said, but his wallet and keys are missing.

Police also explored the possibility of Harrod's getting cold feet after the wedding, Loomis said.

"His wife is very worried," she said. "Maybe he's off cooling off some place, but to think he would blow her off like that doesn't make sense. There are things in his home that indicate he was planning on welcoming her into his home."

Police are looking at Harrod's banking and phone records. They have also canvassed the neighborhood to see if anyone has seen him.

"I don't know that we have a working theory," Loomis said. "We aren't talking about a conniving 20- or 30-year-old. He's 81."

Harrod is described as 5 feet 11 and 140 pounds. He has gray hair and is balding, and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing white pants and a white hat and a shirt of an unknown color.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Loomis at (714) 993-8194 or Sgt. Scott Millsap at (714) 993-8168.

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my-thuan.tran@latimes.com

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