BERLIN — Police, friends and family are looking for Thomas Morse after he disappeared a week ago.
Berlin Police Chief James Pontbriand said Morse, 41, was last seen in Berlin on Nov. 23.
“We’d really like to find him,” Pontbriand said. “Have a conversation with him and make sure he’s OK.”
He said Morse’s family and friends are quite concerned for his well-being.
Pontbriand said Morse was receiving treatment at Central Vermont Medical Center and then made his way to the Berlin Mall on foot. He said Morse bought some items at Walmart in the mall and that’s the last time anyone has seen or heard from him.
The police chief said he doesn’t know at this point whether Morse is alive, if he’s still in the area, whether he might have harmed himself, or if someone has harmed him.
“I’m hoping for the best and that he’s just kind of taking a breather from everybody, but I really don’t know,” Pontbriand said.
He said police have searched around the mall, the hospital and surrounding properties. Friends and family also have searched around the family’s farm in East Montpelier in the hopes that he made his way back there.
Pontbriand said his department reached out to Vermont State Police for the use of a drone that could assist with the search, but that request was denied partly because of the weather and because the search area is right in the flight path of the Edward F. Knapp State Airport.
Morse is described as a white male, 5-feet 10-inches tall, weighing 180 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt with blue jeans and a camouflage hat. Police said he bought some clothing at the mall and might be wearing those items instead, which include a dark gray sweatshirt, blue flannel-looking pajama bottoms and a gray backpack.
Pontbriand asked members of the public to keep an eye out. He said if something seems out of place or if they think they might have seen someone matching Morse’s description, they should contact Berlin police at 802-223-4401 or 802-229-9191.
Morse’s father, Burr Morse, said Monday it doesn’t appear as though his son wanted to harm himself because he bought cold weather clothing at the mall. Burr Morse said that tells him his son wants to live.
“So if he’s out there or if anyone is harboring him and not speaking up, they shouldn’t do that. We’re all on edge and we want to hear (that he’s OK),” the older Morse said.
He said his son went to the hospital because Thomas Morse was suffering from “hard, emotional times.” The older Morse said his son left the hospital, against medical advice, went to the nearby Toyota dealership to see if his truck being serviced there was ready to be picked up, and then went to the mall on foot.
Burr Morse said his son had a cellphone on him, but it appears its battery may have drained before he left the hospital, so he had no way of contacting his family. Though the older Morse noted his son left the hospital against the advice of doctors, so he might not have wanted to announce to anyone that he needed a ride home.
He said disappearing like this is completely out of character for his son.
Anyone who wants to help the family search or to receive updates about the disappearance can send an email to TomMorseSearch@gmail.com, which is an email account set up for the family and those leading the search efforts.