Courtesy of the Dowd family
Charles Dowd, 69, a retired San Francisco firefighter and business owner en route to visit his son and family in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, was found dead in
Nebraska more than a week after he disappeared from an Amtrak train.
The body of a retired San Francisco firefighter who was reported missing after possibly falling off an Amtrak train he was riding from California to Chicago has been found in Nebraska, his family said.
The body of Charlie Dowd was found Friday in Haigler, Neb., an area between Fort Morgan, Colo., and McCook, Neb. The body was spotted by a BNSF railway worker who reported it to authorities.
Dowd, 69, boarded the California Zephyr on Sept. 12 in Emeryville, Calif., with plans to change trains in Chicago on Sept. 14 and continue to Montreal to visit his son. But when the train pulled into the Chicago station, Dowd was not aboard, yet his luggage, cell phone and medication were.
The family last heard from Dowd by cell phone on Sept. 13, his daughter, Jennifer Dowd, said.
Amtrak police had told the family that a passenger saw Dowd about 10 p.m. on Sept. 13 near a train door. Another passenger found an exterior train door ajar about 11 p.m. that night but didn’t report it to Amtrak officials until the next morning.
The train conductor said a person who fit Dowd's description appeared disoriented and confused about his whereabouts, thinking he was in an apartment rather than on a train and that he needed to find the front door.
Based on those reports, the family and Amtrak coordinated searches with local police agencies focusing on the train route between Fort Morgan and McCook.
On Friday, the family released this statement:
“While the family is devastated, they would like to express their gratitude for the many prayers, support, and messages posted to the Charlie Dowd Facebook page, and for the efforts of the many volunteers who have helped search for him this past week."
The family said more details about Dowd's death would be forthcoming soon.
More content from NBCNews.com:
- Bronx Zoo mauling: Man reportedly wanted to be 'one with the tiger'
- Sheriff: Mother kills 2 kids, then hangs herself
- For first time, gay marriage may win statewide vote
- Cops: Shoplifter kills Wal-Mart security employee, then self
- Three Aurora shooting victims suing Cinemark' theater to reopen in 2013
- Video: Bronx Zoo: Tiger did not bite to kill in attack