Family of missing Bloomfield man continues to search
Brother of Lewis 'Jim' Stouffer visits San Juan County from overseas
FARMINGTON — The family of a missing Bloomfield man is seeking closure this holiday season as law enforcement officials continue to investigate his disappearance nearly six months ago.
Fifty-year-old Lewis "Jim" Stouffer has been missing since June 13, according to his brother Nick Sinnott.
Nick is visiting San Juan County from Europe, where he is stationed as a member of the U.S. Air Force.
Two of Nick and Stouffer's brothers, Shayne and Ed Sinnott, traveled here in July to generate interest in the missing-person case and encourage people with information on the case to contact the proper law enforcement agencies.
Stouffer was reported missing after he dropped off his girlfriend of nearly 25 years, Rose Parker, at work around 5 p.m. on June 12 and did not show up at 5 a.m. on June 13 to pick her up at the end of her shift.
"We're trying to get some closure before the holidays," Nick Sinnott said.
Nick has traveled to several cities, including Dulce and Chama, in addition to Aztec, Bloomfield and Farmington, distributing fliers.
"He would never be gone and not contact his family for this long if he were alive," Nick Sinnott said.
Detective Orlando Mareno of the Bloomfield Police Department said the agency is still working on the case, but he said there is no suspicion of foul play.
Investigators are looking into reports of a man seen with Stouffer around the time of his disappearance, Mareno said.
Nick identified the man as Brennan Johnson and added that he was spotted with Stouffer the day he disappeared.
While visiting San Juan County, Nick has been to the site where Stouffer's Hyundai Elantra was found abandoned on Navajo Dam Road east of Aztec on July 5.
Bloomfield police, with the aid of the San Juan County Sheriff's Office, have conducted multiple search parties in the area with the use of a helicopter and cadaver dogs, according to Mareno.
Nick hopes his visit will help renew interest in the investigation into his missing brother.
Billboards with Stouffer's photo and contact information for law enforcement, and the New Mexico Department of Public Safety Missing Person Hotline are scheduled to remain up until Jan. 1, Nick said.
"It's not something people would understand unless people went through it," Nick Sinnott said. "But what's so terrible about this is we don't know what happened to him,. He's been gone for six months."
Anyone with information can contact Bloomfield police at 505-632-6311 or the New Mexico Department of Public Safety Missing Person Hotline at 1-800-457-3463.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.