STAFFORD – It has been more than three months since the search began for Bu Quach, a missing elderly man who disappeared from his Manahawkin nursing home.
On Nov. 2, 2018, 65-year old Bu Quach left abruptly through a basement door at the Manahawkin Nursing & Rehabilitation Center where he was residing. Despite police and community searches, he has yet to be found.
On Feb. 5, 2019, Stafford Police Lieutenant James Vaughn told Jersey Shore Online: “Unfortunately, there is no new information to report, but Bu Quach’s missing persons investigation remains open.”
While the search continues, Vaughn noted that there have not been any new leads or developments in the case for some time now.
On Feb. 5, April Christine, concerned Manahawkin resident and member of the Bu Quach search party, posted a reminder to social media that the elderly man is still out there. Christine said she has no personal connection to Bu Quach, but acts as a “concerned citizen, friend & public liaison” to others, keep them updated on the ongoing search.
Back in November 2018, in the immediate weeks following Bu Quach’s disappearance, Jersey Shore Online reported on search parties, some up to 100 people, getting out into the community to actively look for the elderly man.
Since then, efforts have dwindled.
“There have not been any “large formal search parties” going on like it was in the beginning. Just small groups of civilians that gather periodically on their own time to go out & look,” Christine said. “The numbers that are committed vary…Sadly, we went from over 100 search team members down to just a handful of civilians that get together whenever possible.”
However, hope has not died for many. The Help Find Bu Quach Facebook page has over 500 members and continues to post updates and reminders about Quach periodically. The page can be joined at facebook.com/groups/2182284805427641/?ref=br_rs.
Despite this positivity, Christine claims that many people are not even aware that Quach is missing, even after all this time.
“It’s been quite frustrating trying to get the word out, as many still do not know that he is missing,” she explained. “We’re all aware that he may or may not be here with us anymore, but even still, he needs to be found.”
The harsh weather and cold temperatures of late have hindered search efforts, according to Christine, which only makes matters worse. So to combat obstacles like this, she wants to do everything possible to inform and update the public.
The Facebook group page chronicles details and timelines since Quach left the nursing home to help members and newcomers to the search put the pieces together for themselves.
According to earlier reports, Quach suffers from dementia, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He had been a resident at the Manahawkin Nursing & Rehabilitation Center since February 2018, from which he left with no money, just the clothes on his back.
He is described as an Asian male, 5’3”, approximately 120 pounds with shaved short hair although it had been grown out a bit, a goatee and was last seen wearing a red t-shirt, dark gray sweatpants and a yellow wristband.
On Nov. 2, the night he went missing, there was a sighting of Quach near Treasure Avenue and Lighthouse Drive in Ocean Acres at approximately 5:30 p.m. However, nothing has come of it.
Back in November 2018, Lt. Vaughn told Jersey Shore Online: “The case has remained open throughout the nights, and weekends and we have never stopped investigating his disappearance.”
Christine hopes to find him to obtain closure and peace of mind for Quach’s family and friends, as well as everyone involved in the months-long search for him.
“This entire thing has been heartbreaking but we haven’t given up,” she said. “We’ve even taken into consideration that he may not even be in our area. He could be anywhere. His hometown was the Camden/Pennsauken area before being placed in the Manahawkin Nursing Home.”
With a history of wandering, the possibilities of where Quach ended up are endless.
The search continues. Tune into the Help Find Bu Quach page for continued updates. Anyone with information is asked to contact Stafford Police at 609-597-8581.