Son: Dad, 87, missing for months with mystery woman

Henry Conley Fitchett Jr. last seen in 2016

Henry Conley Fitchett Jr., now 87, in undated photos released by the Marion County Sheriff's Office on February 13, 2017
Henry Conley Fitchett Jr., now 87, in undated photos released by the Marion County Sheriff's Office on February 13, 2017

AURORA, Ore. (KOIN) — Conley Fitchett Jr. liked to sit in his scooter by the side of the road near where he lived for 14 years with his son and daughter-in-law. He’d wave to people and people waved back.

But the 87-year-old man, described by his son as “cantankerously sociable,” hasn’t been seen in months, and his family is concerned.

Ed Fitchett, whose 87-year-old father Conley Fitchett, has been missing for months, February 14, 2017 (KOIN)
Ed Fitchett, whose 87-year-old father Conley Fitchett, has been missing for months, February 14, 2017 (KOIN)

His son, Ed Fitchett, told KOIN 6 News one night in September his dad left with a woman “and I assumed it was temporary, you know, that he was going with her to go out to eat or whatever. Then he didn’t come back and I thought, well, that’s a little strange. But, like we said, he’s an adult.”

Conley — whose given name is Henry Conley Fitchett Jr. — has a pacemaker, is blind in one eye from a ruptured blood vessel, deaf in one ear and hard of hearing in the other. He’s 5-feet-2, 169 pounds with gray hair and blue eyes.

Ed said his dad is sharp but ornery and only uses his power chair so he’d have someplace to sit when he waved at people on the road.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Marion County Sheriff’s Tip Line at 503.540.8079, or text your tip to TIPMCSO at 847411.

About 2-and-a-half months ago, Ed said, his dad came back to pick up a “blue suitcase with a whole bunch of underwear and stuff in it, and hearing aid batteries and that was pretty much it. So toiletry-type stuff.”

This is the home in Aurora Conley Fitchett shared with his son and daughter-in-law, February 14, 2017 (KOIN)
This is the home in Aurora Conley Fitchett shared with his son and daughter-in-law, February 14, 2017 (KOIN)

Ed said Conley was with a woman — “white, white-haired, 70, late 70-ish, I’m guessing 150 pounds, got around well” — who knocked at Ed’s door while Conley stayed in her car which had a frame around her license plate that said “Estacada.”

He said she told him what Conley wanted, but Ed went to talk with his dad before he got the suitcase.

That’s the last Ed said he saw his dad.

Conley does have a debit card but not a credit card, Ed said. “I’m in charge of his money. Can’t see anything going on there that she’s helping him do that or helping,” he told KOIN 6 News.

He said the woman — whose name he doesn’t know — would have to go through him to get his dad’s money.

This is the power chair Conley Fitchett used at his home in Aurora, February 14, 2017 (KOIN)
This is the power chair Conley Fitchett used at his home in Aurora, February 14, 2017 (KOIN)

“I asked him what her name was and he goes, ‘Ain’t none of your business,” he said, laughing.

He also doesn’t really know where his dad met this woman. “I assumed at church, but I don’t know that for a fact.”

It wasn’t until January 29 that family members contacted police.

Ed’s wife is ill and he’s taking care of her. “My wife has had a whole bunch of medical issues. She’s in worse shape than he is,” he said. “So I’m kind of strapped in that respect.”

It was his wife’s caregiver who asked Ed where Conley was. “That caregiver got ahold of my brother through Facebook and stirred everything up,” he said.

Ed said his brother called and declined Ed’s request to take care of Conley for a while.

For years, Conley Fitchett Jr. drove mail and worked maintenance for the state highways, and Ed said “there’s a ton of people that know him, I mean, all over Eastern Oregon.”

Ed doesn’t think anyone would hurt his dad.

“It’s hard because I didn’t neglect him, or I don’t feel I neglected him. I don’t know. I don’t know.”

Investigators told KOIN 6 News they have no idea who the woman is. They are also looking into Conley Fitchett’s bank accounts to see if there is any activity.

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.