‘We need your help’: Family, police ask public to help find missing Plymouth man

PLYMOUTH, Mass. — The children of a missing Plymouth man on Wednesday made an emotional plea to the public to help find their father, who has a history of dementia.

Rodney Riviello, 69, was last seen at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Plymouth at 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday morning, according to police, who have since launched a massive ground and aerial search to find him.

Hundreds of police officers and firefighters, detectives, more than a dozen K9s, and the State Police Air Wing have taken part in the search, which has centered around Plymouth, Manomet, and Chiltonville, police said.

“We’ve been actively looking for over 24 hours,” Plymouth Police Capt. Jason Higgins told reporters on Wednesday afternoon.

Police later said they were looking for a silver vehicle in connection with the case, but announced on Friday they are no longer looking for that vehicle.

Dan Riviello on Wednesday said his family is “obviously scared and disappointed” that his father is missing.

“His 70th birthday is in just a few weeks, and we’re not giving up hope,” he said.

On Wednesday, police said extended their search for Rodney Riviello out five miles from the hospital, which includes most villages of Plymouth. Investigators are asking the public to check around their property and surveillance video to help find him.

“We’ve physically checked miles and miles of area,” Higgins said shortly after 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

He added, “We’ve had countless leads. None of them have panned out.”

Police described Riviello as a white man, standing 5 feet, 10 inches tall, weighing 190 pounds, with a bald head and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a collared striped shirt, blue shorts, and what is believed to be a New York Yankees baseball hat.

Authorities are looking into the possibility that a car may have picked him up.

“If you or anyone you know picked up an elderly man yesterday in Plymouth, you need to call us,” Higgins said.

His family said Rodney Riviello was discharged from the the hospital at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, after he was taken by ambulance to the hospital after going out for a walk.

“My mom and he go out on a morning walk every morning. He’s done it hundreds of times and it seems as though he may have tripped and fallen along the way,” his son said, adding that his father somehow made his way to the fire department, and was then taken to the hospital.

His family said the hospital gave Rodney Riviello a taxi voucher to get home, but it is believed he got tired of waiting, eventually walking away on his own. Police said when he left Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital on Tuesday, he was heading towards Jabez Corner. From there, police said they have no idea where he went.

His son called police when he could not get in touch with his father.

“He wasn’t home. That’s when I called the police. It’s just sort of my intuition that something was not right because I hadn’t heard back from him,” Dan Riviello said.

“He did not have his wallet, he had no phone,” his son said.

Rodney Riviello’s daughter, Michelle, said the main focus “is on finding dad and then we can figure out what went wrong later,” referring to his hospital discharge. She said her father earlier suffered a series of mini-strokes which has resulted in memory impairment issues.

“We’re not mad and we miss you so much and we just want you to be OK,” she said, crying, when speaking about her father.

Rodney Riviello moved to Massachusetts from New York to be closer to his grandchildren, his family said.

Police urged all local residents to give their property a thorough check, “searching anywhere that a person could be” and to review Ring or surveillance cameras to see if it shows Rodney Riviello walking by.

Police are transitioning from a ground search to an “investigative search that leverages technology,” said Higgins, the police captain.

“We’re going to use any type of technology, drones heat sensing aircraft, closed circuit televisions, Ring cameras,” he said.

Sensing drones and mountain bike patrols are also being used in the search, said Higgins.

“We will continue to look for Mr. Riviello until he is found,” Higgins said.

Anyone who sees Rodney Riviello or who has information on his whereabouts is urged to call 911.

Dan Riviello said his family appreciates the outpouring of support from the community as crews continue to search for his father.

“It’s truly amazing what this community has done and we really appreciate everyone who is trying to help,” he said.

He added, “Please call Plymouth Police or 911 with any information.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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