Yakima doctor still missing 6 months later
YAKIMA, Wash. -- It's been six months since a retired Yakima doctor disappeared while on a mission in Ukraine.
Jay Sloop was in Kiev helping set up a lifestyle clinic. Cameras recorded him going into a park, but they didn't show him leave.
Dr. Sloop is well known and loved by his community. He's passionate about getting people to be healthy so they could have healthy babies too.
"Do you think about him everyday?" KIMA asked.
"Yeah, there are things that we've done together that come up almost every imaginable situations," said Dr. Richard Sloop, Jay's son.
Richard Sloop followed in his father's footsteps and is a doctor himself. He remembers going to seminars with his dad.
"We kind of miss that in having somebody with his breadth of knowledge and his positive personality helping out," he said.
Richard said it gets a little easier as time goes by, but his dad is never far from his thoughts. He's always reminded of his dad's influence.
"Almost a day doesn't go by where people don't offer some kind of encouragement when I'm seeing them here in the office or at the hospital and I think mom has experienced that as well," he said.
It's been an emotional experience for the Sloop family ever since the 77-year-old went missing in May. Search teams spent hundreds of hours looking for him. In time, the missing person case turned into a criminal investigation.
Richard said police in Kiev have responded to reported sightings, but those leads have all come up empty. All of it drains the people closest to him.
"Six months goes by and you say, 'What's the chance that something now is going to be a breakthrough?' It seems quite unlikely," he said.
Still it is a breakthrough they hope for.
Richard said the U.S. Embassy may organize one more search in the next few weeks.