Newtown police said Friday, September 6, that they are pursuing a tip that Robert Hoagland, 50, of Sandy Hook, who has been missing from his Glen Road home since July 28, may have been seen within the past few days in Rhode Island.
Newtown Police Detective Lieutenant Richard Robinson said Newtown police received a tip that Mr Hoagland, whose photo has been widely circulated, was seen in the “Rhode Island area.” Although small compared to other states, Rhode Island covers about 1,200 square miles.
According to published reports, a man who looks like Mr Hoagland was seen along Route 117, near Interstate 95, in the Warwick area. According to those reports, that man was seen carrying a large backpack.
At about 2 pm on Friday, Warwick police said thay had received two reports that day of people reporting to have seen Mr Hoagland in that city.
Warwick Police Captain Joe Coffey said that those reports came in at about 1:30 pm and about 9:30 am on Friday. In both cases, police were not able to confirm that Mr Hoagland had been sighted, he said.
Det Lt Robinson said that the tip from Rhode Island is one of the “dozens of tips” that Newtown police have pursued in seeking Mr Hoagland.
Newtown police have sent information to the Rhode Island news media publicizing the disappearance, he said.
“We’re still investigating all leads... We're checking all possibilities,” he said.
“We have no confirmed information that puts [Hoagland] in Rhode Island,” Det Lt Robinson said.
Warwick is a city of more than 80,000 people about 130 miles east of Newtown.
Mr Hoagland is a self-employed real estate appraiser, who also works for an attorney in Bridgeport. He is married and has children.
He was last publicly seen inside the convenience store at the Mobil gas station at 62 Church Hill Road at about 6:45 am on Sunday, July 28.
Later that day, he was last seen at his home before his disappearance.
Mr Hoagland is white, 6 feet tall, and weighs 175 pounds. He is bald and has blue eyes.
On September 1, police made a sonar search of a section of Lake Zoar in seeking whether Mr Hoagland’s body might be found there. They have also done extensive dog searches for him.
The lake search and dog searches produced no results.
A Facebook page on Mr Hoagland’s disappearance is at www.facebook.com/HelpUsFindHoagie?fref=ts. There is a Twitter feed at HelpUsFindHoagie.
Newtown police said that anyone with knowledge of Mr Hoagland’s whereabouts should contact the detective unit at the Newtown Police Department at 3 Main Street, telephone 203-426-5841.
People outside the Newtown area who have information on Mr Hoagland’s whereabouts should contact the law enforcement agencies in their respective areas.