By Eliot Duke
Dunn Daily Record
DUNN – The family of a Maine man missing since the end of last month is asking the public to help find their loved one.
John Ruble, a 38-year-old Army veteran who suffers from dementia and other illnesses, disappeared on Aug. 23 from Waterville, Maine, and has not been heard from since.
The Highway Patrol found his abandoned black Jeep Wrangler on Interstate 95 near the Long Branch Road exit (Exit 71) three days later.
Employees at the Circle K on Long Branch Road recognized Ruble’s picture and recalled seeing him at the store around the time of his disappearance, but his family has yet to hear anything regarding his whereabouts.
“He’s never vanished like this before,” said Billy Pfaff, a friend of the family currently looking for information concerning Ruble’s disappearance. “This man is very, very sick and it’s not like him whatsoever. He talks to his mother every day and has his whole life, except for when he was overseas. He’s had no contact with her or his best friend. He’s never vanished or ever not come home. This is unlike him.”
Ruble’s family filed a missing person report shortly after his disappearance and received notification that the North Carolina State Highway Patrol located his Jeep on the south side of I-95 locked and abandoned on Aug. 26. Police advised the family to contact local law enforcement in Maine, as that was Ruble’s last known location.
“The family is getting the run around,” Pfaff said. “I know the procedures and it’s true if he was last seen here they have to work backwards, but time is of the essence here. It’s been going on too long already and I’m afraid he may have wandered off. At this point I’m at a loss. The first 48 hours of someone going missing are the deadliest. We’re going on two weeks.”
Local shelters found no record of Ruble checking in and nobody has seen him since being spotted at the Circle K last month. Ruble, described at 6’2” weighing approximately 140 pounds, suffers from dementia, Huntington’s Disease and slurred speech.
“His [Huntington’s Disease] has progressed,” said Pfaff. “No one knows how he got to where his vehicle was found. It was left empty on the side of the highway. His last known location was inside his Jeep Wrangler. He disappeared and had no reason to be there. The police have told us nothing at all.”
Pfaff said he has reached out to the Circle K in hopes that security camera footage could provide additional clues on Ruble’s whereabouts. Pfaff also hopes surveillance video at any of the 9 toll booths between Dunn and Waterville may prove useful.
Anyone with information on Ruble is asked to call 813-993-8225.