Family still searching for missing North Bethlehem Township man

June 15, 2014
George Pochiba

Neva Neizmik expected to spend Father’s Day with her father, George Pochiba, at a local restaurant, spoiling him with a chocolate treat.

Instead, Neizmik and other family members spent the holiday combing Washington County for clues that could lead to the missing man’s recovery.

Pochiba, 88, who has dementia, left his home at 13 Crescent Road, North Bethlehem Township, about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and failed to return. That prompted his family to begin searching for him before state police and dozens of firefighters launched an organized search operation for most of the day Wednesday.

State police suspended the search Wednesday night and would not restart it until receiving any new information that might lead to Pochiba’s location.

Since then, family members, friends and complete strangers have attempted to retrace his steps and scour the surrounding areas. They’ve put posters in local businesses throughout the county and started a Facebook page, “George Pochiba’s Search,” to help organize search times and locations. A $1,000 reward is now being offered for his return.

“We still remain hopeful,” Neizmik said. “We are constantly taking more measures to reach added areas.”

On Saturday, Pochiba’s family widen their search to include the Bridgeville/Canonsburg area after they received a tip about a possible sighting near Morganza Road. Although they’ve called off their search, Neizmik said the Pennsylvania State Police have assisted in numerous ways over the last few days.

Neizmik said her father has ties to the Eighty Four, Canonsburg and Hendersonville areas. She said her father probably doesn’t remember his name and was not carrying identification, credit cards or money when he left home.

She said the family, “simply wants their father returned and has no plans to pursue criminal charges if this situation was caused by some type of wrong.”

“Eventually, someone is going to have to know something,” she said.

Neizmik said she and her relatives are grateful for the continued support and help they have been receiving from the community.

Pochiba is 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighs about 130 pounds with balding white hair, and was last seen wearing blue Dickies pants and a blue and gray flannel shirt. Anyone with information is asked to call 911.

Francesca Sacco joined the Observer-Reporter as a staff writer in November 2013, and covers the Washington County Courthouse and education. Prior to working with the Observer-Reporter, Francesca was a staff writer with a Gannett paper in Ohio. She graduated from Point Park University with a dual bachelor’s degree in print and broadcast journalism.

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