ARLINGTON, TN - It's been almost a week since 82-year-old George Nicholson vanished while driving to Horseshoe Casino in Tunica, MS. Investigators have no leads.
For his family and friends, hope is becoming hard to hold onto. They're still searching, but there's been no confirmed sign of Nicholson since Wednesday, June 29, 2011.
"I've driven every road in North Mississippi and South Memphis," says son David Nicholson. "Basically, it's like finding a needle in a haystack."
The haystack, being anywhere from Memphis to Tunica to George Nicholson's home in Arlington.
"There's been a lot of people looking, they just haven't seen anything," says David.
"We saw lots of red vehicles, but none of them matched up to George's," says Paul Anthony, a life-long friend of Nicholson.
George Nicholson was last seen asking for directions on Millbranch Road in Memphis.
"He possibly had to stop more than once to ask for directions," says Inspector Ray Garcia with the Fayette County Sheriff's Department. "He may be completely confused about where he's at right now."
Police believe Nicholson could still be lost driving his red GMC truck. He wasn't carrying a cell phone, but it's what he was carrying that has Anthony worried.
"It was nothing unusual for him to have a few thousand dollars on him," Anthony says.
He fears someone found out about the money when Nicholson was lost, looking for directions.
"I know if he pulled his billfold out they'd see," he says. "One thing that bothers me -- if they knew he was heading to the casinos they knew he had money."
And if someone tried to rob Nicholson, Anthony says his friend wouldn't have let that happen without a fight.
"If they messed with him and his money he said they'd have to kill him or something he would not give up and I believe that myself."
David says his dad suffered from the early signs of dementia, but that he refused to slow down. He doesn't believe his dad ever made it to Tunica, since Horseshoe employees never saw him. Now their best hope of finding Nicholson lies with the public. Police are asking everyone to keep their eyes open.
"You hope for the best, but being this long with him not being spotted anywhere, it doesn't look like a good situation," says David. "I hope I'm wrong. All of us not knowing is the worst part."
The family is offering a $5,000 reward for information that helps them find George Nicholson.