Police, family searching for missing man last seen walking Richmond Highway barefoot: 'We need him back home!'

Salvador Ortiz Missing
Posted at 9:22 PM, Jan 24, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-24 23:15:10-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Salvador Ortiz, the father of three young children hasn't been seen by his family in five days.

However, what the 31-year-old left at home has investigators saying it is suspicious, and family and friends saying that he has never done this before.

Ortiz was last seen the night of January 19, wearing socks, but no shoes, pacing inside the Azteca Restaurant on Richmond Highway with his arms folded.

Surveillance video of Ortiz

Nine seconds of surveillance video are the last time Ortiz was seen on camera in the area.

"The day he left was really cold. He had no jacket and no shoes, that's why we are looking for him," Ortiz's brother Fernando said.

Richmond police say the father of three was under the influence of alcohol at the time. Family members believe the drinking may have fueled erratic behavior at first, but now being five days off the grid, they fear something far worse has happened to their loved one.

"We've reached out to GRTC but so far the preliminary is he hasn't gotten on any buses and we can't see anywhere where someone picked him up."

Also adding to the mystery - Ortiz did not have any personal items with him. No wallet, no phone, and no jacket.

"We are hoping by putting this on the news that someone saw him maybe stumbling down Richmond Highway and didn't think much of it at the time but now they can see it means something," police said.

Family and friends walked a large radius Wednesday on the Southside, posting flyers, and searching for Ortiz.

RPD used drones and other resources to see if they could come up with leads, but so far there has been nothing substantial.

Ortiz's brother Fernando is making this plea to his brother and the community:

"Come back home. We are all waiting and looking for him, we need him back home!"

Police have checked local hospitals, family members have scoured bus depots and homeless encampments. Richmond police are planning next to bring in cadaver dogs for a search.

If you think you've seen Ortiz, police ask you to please call 911.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip. If you see breaking news, and can do so safely, shoot a photo or video and send it to CBS 6. You can also upload photos to our Facebook page or email from your phone.

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