‘Please come home; we need you’ Family of missing Newport News man pleads for answers

Posted at 11:14 PM, Jan 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-16 23:29:21-05

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Newport News Police are ramping up search efforts to find a 62-year-old man.

Leon Francis has been missing since Tuesday and as the temperature drops, his family's fear grows.

"It's been 72 hours and my heart is just aching for him," his wife, Daphne, said as the family looked through old photos.

Francis -- a husband, father, uncle and grandfather -- was last seen near their home on Wyn Drive.

"He had an umbrella. He did have on shoes, but he left the home without a cellphone, without his cane, without his glasses," Daphne said.

Police searched through neighbors' Ring doorbell video to create a timeline of where Francis went when he went missing. Wednesday, police said he was last seen wearing only a t-shirt, boxers and one shoe when he went missing.

Daphne said he has Parkinson's disease and is in desperate need of his medication, which he needs to take every few hours.

The Newport News Police Department convened Thursday at Calvary Chapel on Warwick Boulevard, not far from Francis' house, to create a search party. They're checking everywhere for him, including nearby woods and railroad tracks.

After issuing the Senior Alert Wednesday, Virginia State Police said Francis suffers from a cognitive impairment and said his disappearance poses a credible threat to his health and safety.

"It's unexplainable. I feel like one half of me is missing. We've been together for 25 years," Daphne said.

Newport News Police explained that after further investigation, Francis is now considered endangered.

His family just wants him to come home safely and know they are looking for him and love him.

"Leon, if you see us - Daddy, we need you to come home!"

If contact is made with Francis, please contact Newport News Police Department at (757) 247–2500.