Elderly restaurant worker missing

A "spunky" woman who took great pride in her work at Arby's restaurant is missing, her bosses said Friday.

Mary Rhodes, 78, called her employer June 15 to say she'd hurt her back and been told by a doctor to take some time off, said store manager Jennifer Ramirez. She hasn't been seen or heard from since.

"If I could have a whole store of Marys I'd be a very happy boss. She never called in sick. She was always 20 minutes early. She treated everyone that came in like her kids," Ramirez said. "On the 17th when she didn't show everybody asked "Where's Mary?" but we didn't know. That Sunday I started calling around trying to find her."

Ramirez said Rhodes was living at the Focus House, a shelter in South Carson City, but when she talked to people there they said Mary had moved with a friend to a hotel.

Ramirez visited hotels in town and there's no sign of the white-haired woman, she said. She doesn't know what friend Rhodes moved in with, or even what doctor she visited before she disappeared. It's not clear where Rhodes is from originally, although Ramirez said she'd often talk about her children.

She hasn't come in to pick up her June 20 paycheck and had just celebrated her one-year anniversary as a customer service clerk at the Carson Street restaurant, Ramirez said.

On Friday, at the urging of Arby's owner Daryl Reedy, Ramirez filed a missing person's report with the Carson City Sheriff's Department.

"We decided it's been long enough and somebody needs to do something," she explained. "The whole time we've been worried. We know she's not just going to leave without at least saying good-bye."

"She took so much pride in what she did," Ramirez said. "She's a fixture in Arby's and now she's not there."

Contact F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.

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Mary Rhodes is described as 5-feet 3-inches tall with short white, straight hair and blue eyes. She has a bellybutton piercing, which Ramirez said she got two years ago. She's a smoker. She will turn 79 on July 21.

Anyone with information on Rhodes' whereabouts is asked to call the Carson City Sheriff's Department at 887-2020 ext. 1717 or Arby's at 883-1814.


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