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Family of missing man offers reward

W.V. resident was last seen Oct. 10 in a white pickup

Gary Lamont Neilson
Gary Lamont Neilson

Friends and family of a retired airlines employee missing for more than a month are now offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to his discovery.

Gary Lamont Neilson was last seen leaving his West Valley neighborhood on the morning of Oct. 10. A couple of people in the neighborhood, including school crossing guards, saw him drive off in his 1970s white Chevy pickup.

Since then there has been no trace of him.

"Basically, he's fallen off the face of the Earth somewhere," said West Valley police Capt. Tom McLachlan.

His wife, Maddy, admitted her husband had been under a little stress with children, grandchildren and filing for bankruptcy after working 37 years for Northwest Airlines.

But she said there has been absolutely no sign of him or his truck. There has been no activity on his credit cards, bank accounts, e-mail nor has he applied for any new credit cards, she said.

Maddy believes her husband left with only $40 to $50 in his pocket. Police said he didn't take his wallet.

Now, she and family members have been passing out fliers with his picture hoping that someone might have seen him.

"We're really trying hard to find the truck. If we find the truck we'll find him," Neilson said.

Gary Neilson was an avid skier and outdoorsman. His wife said there wasn't an area of Utah he hadn't visited. That's why fliers have been distributed as far south as Lake Powell and seven other Western states.

"We don't know where he's at. We went to every place we could possibly think of," she said.

Neilson believes her husband either ran off, committed suicide, was attacked or had a medical problem and is waiting to be found.

"Personally, I think something bad has probably happened," she said.

Investigators have not found any evidence suggesting foul play. Two possibly sightings, one in the Vernal area, were reported earlier but so far McLachlan said none of the leads have panned out.

Now, Maddy hopes the reward will spark some new leads.

"Maybe money will pique interest. Whatever it takes," she said. "I'm more than happy to give the money to whoever can find him."

The family is accepting donations through Zions Bank to possibly increase the reward. If Gary isn't found, Maddy said the money will be returned to the donors.

Neilson is about 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. His truck has Utah license plate 2925BK.

Anyone with information is asked to call their local police department no matter in what city he's spotted. Neilson has been listed nationally as a missing person and other police departments will contact West Valley, Maddy Neilson said.

Hunters and outdoor recreationists are being asked particularly to keep their eyes open.


E-mail: preavy@desnews.com