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Family members anxious over disappearance of legally blind father

Posted at 7:39 PM, Apr 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-05 19:41:52-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- What started as a simple bus trip from Orlando, Florida to New York City has taken a mysterious turn.  Now, the daughter of Louis Soltren said she and her relatives have not heard from the 59-year-old man since early Sunday morning.

Soltren, who is legally blind,  was taken to the Orlando Bus station by his mother and aunt to board a Greyhound bus around 7 p.m. Saturday, April 2.

Ayla Soltren, his daughter, said he contacted relatives regularly along the way to update them of his progress. His eyesight is very poor,  his daughter explained, in the daytime he can make out objects as though he was looking through a glass shower door.

Louis Soltren hasn't been seen by family.

Louis Soltren hasn't been seen by family.

Around 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Ayla said her grandmother got a call from her son.

"The bus broke down and they are waiting on repairs so they can continue their trip to New York," she said.

The uncle who was supposed to meet Soltren at the New York Bus station said he never arrived.

"I believe when he said he was in Petersburg, he was in Petersburg," she said. "Naturally somebody who is legally blind, they're not children, they're not dumb, they're going to want to know where they are, especially with that condition."

Petersburg Police investigated but found no video of Louis Soltren getting off of a Greyhound Bus at the city's bus station, or any record of a Greyhound Bus breaking down along the interstate.

Relatives said Orlando Police are investigating his disappearance as well.

Late Tuesday afternoon, family members learned police were able to track his cellphone and that it had "pinged" a tower in New York City.

While family members understand that doesn't necessarily mean Louis Soltren is in New York, they see it has a good sign and hoping he will contact them soon.