Vigil set for missing man
Friends of a Dayton man missing nearly four weeks will hold a candlelight vigil in front of Wal-Mart on Thursday in hopes of igniting leads in the disappearance of their coworker.
“We are asking everyone to go. The more awareness we get out there, the better chance we will have of finding them,” Debbie Butler, Wal-Mart electronics manager, said of 29-year-old Paul Watkins.
Watkins, a Wal-Mart employee who worked in the pet department, was last seen at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 6 by his girlfriend. His parents reported him missing to authorities on Feb. 9 after wrongly assuming he was staying with his girlfriend.
On Feb. 20, Watkins’ red 2001 Honda Civic was found with a flat tire in the Sunrise Pass area of the Pine Nut Mountains east of Johnson Lane. A two-day search by Douglas and Lyon county teams failed to uncover clues to Watkins’ disappearance.
Bob and Nancy Watkins said their son suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and had recently quit taking the medications that keep under control the hallucinations and disorientation, which are symptoms of his illnesses.
The Watkinses believe their son possibly wandered out of the desert after his tire became flat and, disoriented, hitchhiked a ride somewhere.
“We are doing the vigil to get the awareness out so maybe someone will have seen him and call,” Butler said. The public is invited to attend the vigil from 7:30 to 8 p.m. in the Wal-Mart parking lot.
Watkins is a white male, 6-feet, 2-inches tall and weighs 285 pounds. He has short brown hair and blue eyes and often wears glasses. His mother said he doesn’t have much facial hair, although without a razor he would have some growth. Watkins was last seen wearing light tan casual slacks, a lightweight long sleeve sweater and white and blue tennis shoes.
YOU CAN HELP
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Paul Watkins is asked to call the Lyon County Sheriff’s Department at 246-6200 or by calling Wal-Mart at 885-6700.