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Family, friends canvassing Lompoc for missing 94-year-old man

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Posted at 5:48 PM, Aug 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-19 22:28:49-04

The search continues for a 94-year-old man reported missing in Lompoc.

Donald Bishop was last seen on August 15 and his family is now hoping for a miracle.

Bishop's family says he is not your average 94-year-old.

"That's been his problem. You never could keep him down. Him and my mom are fiercely independent," said Brian Bishop, Don's son.

He says his father walks between three to five miles a day, sometimes even twice a day.

So when Bishop learned his dad was missing, he says he was caught off guard.

"I was really surprised because he's got the area memorized like the back of his hand and he's really got the microclimates of the trails memorized too," Bishop said.

As Bishop made his way down from Northern California to search for his dad, longtime neighbor Barbara Reed sprung into action, spreading Don's picture on social media, alongside friend Denise Morehead, and hitting the pavement

"As soon as I heard about it I left work and said, 'we're gonna go look,' and that's exactly what we started doing," Reed said.

Now many in the Lompoc community have joined in the search that's taken them through the riverbed and all the way to Highway 246.

"This morning I was up at the headlands of Beattie Park and I ran into four couples that described my dad to me. I said I was looking for a 94-year-old man and they already knew about it! Unbelievable," Bishop said.

"If someone's missing, it doesn't matter their age, you go look for them. If they've just wandered out, it doesn't matter. Let's just go find him," Reed said.

Don's friends and family are hoping for a new lead as the Lompoc Police Department has used everything in their arsenal to search for Don so far.

"What I hope that happens next is now that it's been four nights and this will be a fifth night that we have a miracle occur," Brian said.

Don was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt, blue jeans and red suspenders.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Lompoc Police Department at (805) 736-2341.

Lompoc Police Department Captain Kevin Martin tells KSBY they have no direct information Don Bishop was ever in the riverbed but they still canvassed the riverbed twice using ATVs and even drones.

They have received no credible tips so far but one officer was out all day Monday looking for Bishop in "high probability" places.

Captain Martin says Bishop has been added to the state's missing persons system so if someone else finds him, they will be notified.

Because of the limited information, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Team has not been utilized.