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CT JAMES GARRIS: Missing from Litchfield, CT - 5 July 1999 - Age 80

Discussion in 'Missing 1990 to 1999' started by Akoya, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2018
  2. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member



    Missing Person / NamUs #MP3482 JAMES C GARRIS, Male, White / Caucasian

    Date of Last Contact July 5, 1999
    Missing From Litchfield, Connecticut
    Missing Age 80 Years
    Current Age 99 Years

    Case Information

    Missing Age 80 Years
    Current Age 99 Years
    First Name JAMES
    Middle Name C
    Last Name GARRIS

    Gender Male
    Race / EthnicityWhite / Caucasian
    Height 5' 9" (69 Inches)
    Weight 165 lbs

    Date of Last Contact July 5, 1999
    NamUs Case Created December 2, 2009

    Last Known Location Map
    Location Litchfield, Connecticut 06759
    County Fairfield County
    Circumstances of DisappearanceJames Garris was last seen walking away from th Sarah Pierce Assisted Living Community where he resides. He had been living there for less than one week at the time of his disappearance.
    Circumstance Notes

    Physical Description
    Hair Color Unknown or Completely Bald-
    Left Eye Color Green
    Right Eye Color Green
    Eye DescriptionJames' eye color is described as green/hazel
    Distinctive Physical Features
    James has distinct, large bumps on his head

    Clothing and Accessories
    tan pants, a white polo short sleeve shirt

    brown shoes

    Investigating Agencies
    Connecticut State Police Troop L
    (800) 953-9949
    Case Contributors
    Lori Bruski, Regional Program Specialist
    UNT Center for Human Identification
  3. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


    1697DMCT - James C. Garris

    Name: James C. Garris
    Case Classification: Endangered Missing
    Missing Since: July 05, 1999
    Location Last Seen: Litchfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut

    Physical Description
    Date of Birth: February 24, 1919
    Age: 80 years old
    Race: White
    Gender: Male
    Height: 5'9"
    Weight: 165 lbs.
    Hair Color: Unknown or Completely Bald
    Eye Color: Green/Hazel
    Distinguishing Marks/Features: James has distinct, large bumps on his head. He also has an infection on his right leg on the shin. He suffers from dementia and may be confused.

    Dentals: Not Available
    Fingerprints: Not Available
    DNA: Not Available

    Clothing & Personal Items
    Clothing: Tan pants, a white polo short sleeve shirt.
    Jewelry: Unknown
    Additional Personal Items: Brown shoes.

    Circumstances of Disappearance
    James Garris was last seen on July 5, 1999 at 06:00, at the Sarah Pierce Assisted Living Community where he resides. He had been living there for less than a week. Staff at the convalescent home called police at 08:50 after failing to find Garris on their property.

    James Garris retired from Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford in 1978, where he had worked as an engineer. He was initially diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia in November 1998, and his ability to take care of himself deteriorated rapidly, leading to the decision to place him in the convalescent home. There were no indications that he was unhappy with the move from Granby to a convalescent home.

    Family members described Garris as a man with a warm sense of humor that showed in his rich storytelling. He was a World War II pilot who flew in North Africa and Italy.

    Investigating Agency(s)
    Agency Name: Connecticut State Police Troop L
    Agency Contact Person: Unknown
    Agency Phone Number: 800-953-9949 or 860-567-6800
    Agency E-Mail: N/A
    Agency Case Number: L99-171553

    NCIC Case Number: Unknown
    NamUs Case Number: 3482

    Information Source(s)
    Connecticut State Police
    The Hartford Courant

    Admin Notes
    Added: 9/4/2008; Last Updated: 9/6/2016
  4. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

  5. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

  6. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    Sarah Pierce Assisted Living Community

  7. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


    James Garris
    • Missing Since07/07/1999
    • Missing FromLitchfield, Connecticut
    • ClassificationEndangered Missing
    • Date of Birth02/24/1919 (99)
    • Age80 years old
    • Height and Weight5'9, 165 pounds
    • Clothing/Jewelry DescriptionA short-sleeved white polo shirt, tan pants and brown shoes.
    • Medical ConditionsGarris suffers from dementia and may be disoriented as a result of his condition. His right shin was infected at the time of his July 1999 disappearance.
    • Distinguishing CharacteristicsCaucasian male. Green/hazel eyes. Garris is bald. He has several large bumps on his head.

    Details of Disappearance
    Garris resided at Sarah Pierce Assisted Living Community on Constitution Way in Litchfield, Connecticut. He entered the facility in late June 1999. He was last seen at approximately 6:00 a.m. on July 7, 1999. Authorities believe that Garris may have been confused and walked away from the premises. He has never been heard from again.

    An extensive search of the area produced no clues as to Garris's whereabouts. He impressed staff members and residents at the facility with his social skills and sophisticated manner of dress. Temperatures were in the mid-90 degree range at the time Garris disappeared.

    Garris is a retired engineer. His case remains unsolved.

    Investigating Agency
    • Connecticut State Police
    • 860-567-6800
    • 800-953-9949
    Source Information
  8. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


    Disappearance still an open case

    LITCHFIELD - The case of James Garris, missing since July 5, 1999, is not closed and will be sifted periodically until whatever happened to the elderly Alzheimer's-stricken man is finally uncovered, state police said this week.

    Published 12:00 am, Monday, July 3, 2000

    The case has been turned over to the State Police Major Crimes Squad which will periodically order a search of the areas surrounding The Sarah Pierce Assisted Living facility, where Garris was living when he disappeared.

    State Police Sgt. Wesley Clark said that since the areas to the south of the Sarah Pierce have been exhaustively searched and have turned up no sign of Garris, future searches will comb areas to the north of the living facility, including the woods to the northeast, directly behind The Sarah Pierce, and other areas to the north of the facility. The search radius stems roughly one and a half miles from the assisted living facility.

    Liz Burne, of Connecticut Canine Search and Rescue, said individuals with dementia tend to follow the path of least resistance. This would be the ground southward from The Sarah Pierce. This path would have taken Garris down Constitution Way toward the swamps and thickly wooded pine groves of White Memorial.
  9. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


    4-day Search Concludes For Elderly Litchfield Man

    July 09, 1999|By PHIL LEMOS; Courant Staff Writer
    After four days searching for James Garris, who wandered away from a Litchfield assisted-living facility earlier this week, state police have scaled back the effort to locate the 80-year-old retired engineer.

    New York state police, using a helicopter featuring a mechanism that can detect body heat from mid- air, assisted Connecticut troopers Thursday without success. Troopers will still follow up leads in the case, police Sgt. Paul Vance said, but the daily searching in the wooded areas around Sarah Pierce, the facility where Garris had been living for less than a week, has ended.

    Vance said every inch of the woods has been searched.

    Police are trying to remain optimistic. The best-case scenario would be for Garris to have been picked up hitchhiking, then dropped off somewhere, Vance said. The worst-case scenario is he became lost in the woods. Vance said he doesn't think Garris could survive long in that environment.

    ``If he becomes disoriented in the wilderness, then, yeah, we're concerned,'' Vance said.

    Michael Garris, James Garris' son, returned to work for the first time Thursday after three days of assisting with the police search. Contacted by phone at his office at the Danbury branch of Duracell, where he is a program management director, Michael Garris said he understands the police decision to end the search.

    ``I was in there all day [Wednesday]. We believe he's not in the woods,'' Michael Garris said.

    James Garris suffers from dementia, which progressively impairs brain function. He was reported missing early Monday morning by staff at Sarah Pierce. He was last seen wearing tan khaki pants and a white shirt. Anyone with information is urged to call Troop L barracks in Litchfield at (860) 567-6800.
  10. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


    Western District Major Crime

    Open Case: James Garris

    James Garris

    Case #: L99-171553 Soc.Sec.#: NA Name: James Garris Alias: None
    Address: 19 Constitution Way Apt. 218 Litchfield, CT Height: 5 ft. 9 in. Weight: 165 Age: 80
    Sex: M Eyes: Green Hzl. Hair: Bald, Bumpy Head Complexion: Med. White
    Race: White DOB: 2/24/1919

    James Garris was last seen on July 7, 1999 at 6:00 a.m. at the Sarah Pierce Assisted Living Community where he resides. He was wearing tan pants with a white polo short sleeve shirt and brown shoes.

    James Garris is bald and has distinct large bumps on his head, he also has an infection on his right leg on the shin.

    James Garris suffers from dementia and maybe confused.

    Connecticut State Police "Troop L"
    800-953-9949 or 860-626-7975
  11. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


    James Garris 7/5/1999 CT
    State police continue cold case investigations through the years

    Monday, February 9, 2009 2:13 AM EST


    When James Garris, a resident at the Sarah Pierce Assisted Living Community of Litchfield, was discovered to be missing on July 5, 1999, Connecticut State Police opened an investigation that has remained unresolved for nine years. Garris has never been found, and his fate is unknown. His case is one of seven area open or “cold” cases listed by the Connecticut State Police on their Web site. Two are for people who are missing in Litchfield County, and five seek the killers of those whose bodies have been found here.

    Jim Hiltz, a Goshen real estate broker, retired from the state police after serving as the commander of the Western District Major Crime Squad. He says an open case can become a cold case over time.

    “A homicide is always open.” Hiltz said during a recent interview. “But an unsolved case can become stagnant, and it is at that point that it becomes a cold case.”

    Some of the cases have been around for some time. Lester Stewart was last seen in 1978, and his fate is unknown. Statements and evidence that the state police have obtained over the years have led them to believe that Stewart may have been involved in a drug deal, and that his body is buried in the Goshen or Sharon area.

    Solving a crime without a body is difficult, but not impossible, Hiltz said.

    “When you look at many of these open cases, you find that the victims engaged in risky behavior.” Hiltz said. “Prostitution, drug use — often, these activities can lead to problems.”

    Police departments have frequently asked the public for help in locating evidence or witnesses, using reward money and the publicity of television shows that appeal for information. One Litchfield County case is using reward money as an incentive.

    A reward of $50,000 has been posted on the state police Web site for information in the case of Floyd Ellis, a Sharon resident whose body was found on Sept. 24, 2004. The 36-year-old father of two sons came home from work 4 days earlier, and left the house to walk to a nearby tavern. Police determined that his death was a homicide, caused by a blow to the back of his head.

    “There are many ways that we receive leads.” Lieutenant J. Paul Vance, Commanding Officer of Public Information for the Connecticut State Police, said. “If we see a benefit to an investigation, we would use the “America’s Most Wanted” type of publicity.”

    Jessica Muskus, a 22-year-old resident of Waterbury, was reported missing by her mother on Sept. 20, 2004. More than two years later, a hunter walking through a wooded area near the Campville Road exit, off route 8 in Litchfield, discovered her skeletal remains. An examination later determined that her body was mutilated and that the cause of death was homicide, but did not yield the evidence needed to identify the killer.

    Other bodies have been found near Route 8, and information about the murders is still being sought by police. In November 1986, the dismembered body of 26-year-old Jack Andrews was found at the Litchfield rest area on Route 8. Andrews was a known hitchhiker who traveled across the country, and police say that details of the events that led to his murder are elusive.

    In October 1988, the body of Karen Everett, 24, was found near Valley Road in Harwinton, followed three months later by the discovery of Mildred Alvarado, 30, in nearly the same spot. The State Police web site says that both women were known to have engaged in prostitution and news reports stated that both were drug users, who were strangled to death. The Muskus, Everett, and Alvarado cases share some obvious similarities that have been the subject of speculation on Web sites and in area newspapers. All three women were from Waterbury. Though Muskus’s family disputes the report, Waterbury police have said that she was also known to have engaged in prostitution and drug use.

    “There are times when people talk, that important information is overheard.” Hiltz said. “Deathbed confessions, information exchanged for lighter sentencing and the discovery of remains, all help solve cases.”

    Murderers have been caught because of talking too much. In 1993, the body of another woman, who was believed to be a prostitute living in Waterbury, was also found off Valley Road. Evelyn Betancourt, 27, was shot to death. Her killer, Michael Curry of Thomaston, was charged two years later after telling a cellmate about the killing, while in jail for another offense.

    Today, state police have tools, techniques, and tests that were not available for some of the earlier cases, and they continue to look for the killers.

    “With advances in forensic science, we can develop leads with DNA, fingerprints, and other evidence.” Vance said. “Just because the case is old does not mean that the investigation is over. We will always try to work it to a conclusion.”

    Henry Moore can be reached by email at hmoore@registercitizen.co m.
  12. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


    James Garris
    Case #: L99-171553 Soc.Sec.#: NA Name: James Garris Alias: None
    Address: 19 Constitution Way Apt. 218 Litchfield, CT Height: 5 ft. 9 in. Weight: 165 Age: 80
    Sex: M Eyes: Green Hzl. Hair: Bald, Bumpy Head Complexion: Med. White
    Race: White DOB: 2/24/1919


    James Garris was last seen on July 7, 1999 at 6:00 a.m. at the Sarah Pierce Assisted Living Community where he resides. He was wearing tan pants with a white polo short sleeve shirt and brown shoes.

    James Garris is bald and has distinct large bumps on his head, he also has an infection on his right leg on the shin.

    James Garris suffers from dementia and maybe confused.

    Connecticut State Police "Troop L"
    800-953-9949 or 860-567-6800

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    Akoya Bronze Member


    Police may make match with missing persons

    Published 12:00 am, Thursday, November 16, 2006

    Register Citizen Staff

    LITCHFIELD - The discovery of skeletal remains in Litchfield Tuesday may lead police to compare the evidence with several cold cases.

    Several missing persons in the Northwest Corner have never been found and could be linked to the recent remains after an autopsy is performed today.

    1952 - Although Connie Smith has been missing since 1952, police still have a file on the 10-year-old girl who went missing from Camp Sloane on Indian Mountain Road in Salisbury. Her body was never found after she walked away from the camp to find a phone to call her father in Wyoming.

    1980 - Lester "Chip" Stewart, born in 1951, lived in Litchfield County and was reported missing January 18, 1980, but was last seen in September 1978, police said. Stewart may have been involved in a drug deal that went sour. Police believe his body was buried in the area of Goshen or Sharon.

    1994 - August M. Thiede was an 84-year-old retiree who went by the name Bill, spoke French, and loved country music and old Ford Fairlanes. Thiede left his Norfolk home to take out the trash on June 10, 1994, and was never seen again. His wife called police six hours after he disappeared from 998 Litchfield Road without a trace. His daughter said he left without his teeth, wallet, or identification.

    1999 - Wearing brown moccasins, khaki pants and a white polo shirt, 80-year-old James Garris left the Sarah Pierce assisted living facility in Litchfield on July 5, 1999. Garris, a former Granby resident who was 80 at the time of his disappearance, suffered from dementia, police said. A nurse's aid was the last one to see Garris at 6 a.m. After searching the building, grounds and vicinity by air and with K-9 teams, Garris could not be found.

    July 30, 2005 - After attending a seminar in Avon, Bonnie Lewis Thayer, 65, of Prospect, stopped by to visit a friend in Torrington, but never arrived home. Her purse was left behind, which contained her medication, a wallet, driver's license and credit cards. Her car, a 1993 Mercury Cougar, with Connecticut registration 516ETT, was never found. Thayer is described as a white female, 5-foot-3 inches tall and weighing 220 pounds.

    Tracy Kennedy can be reached by e-mail at courts@registercitizen.com.
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