Wednesday, October 20, 2004
POLK COUNTY -- It's been more than two weeks since Glenn Pennie vanished without a trace from his rural home southwest of Monmouth.
Even though authorities have conducted a 56-square-mile search for the missing man and questioned a person of interest in the case, there have been no leads as to Pennie's whereabouts, said Polk County Sheriff Bob Wolfe.
While there's still no evidence indicating Pennie was the victim of foul play, Wolfe said the sheriff's office has not ruled out the possibility.
"As each day passes, it just raises more and more suspicions," he also said. "This guy is very methodical. He's just not going to disappear like that."
Pennie, a 56-year-old electrician, was last seen at his home at 14970 Airlie Road by his neighbor, David Fetter, the afternoon of Oct. 3.
He had been planning a trip to California and was scheduled to be in Oakland Oct. 5 for a court hearing regarding the estate of his late father.
Fetter, who had agreed to feed Pennie's cat that week, said he saw the pickup Pennie was going to drive still parked in his driveway the morning of Oct. 4, unlocked, with his suitcase and travel items inside.
He called the sheriff's office when he noticed the truck still there later that evening.
"It was unusual, it wasn't like Glenn to leave his pickup unlocked with all his things in it," Fetter said. "I rather doubt he left on his own accord, it sure doesn't look that way."
Deputies found personal items, including Pennie's wallet and business papers in the house, but nothing suspicious during an initial search of Pennie's residence Oct. 5.
The following day, however, Pennie's daughter, Christina Pennie of Portland, contacted county officials to file a missing persons report. She said her father never showed up for the court hearing in Oakland.
Wolfe said he was told by family members that Glenn Pennie wouldn't have missed the trip intentionally. He said the sheriff's office is looking to see if there's a connection between the court appearance and Pennie's disappearance.
"We have had some contact with authorities in California," Wolfe said.
Local authorities, along with officials from Marion and Yamhill counties, did a large grid search of a 56-square-mile area around Pennie's home. Wolfe said investigators found nothing, even with the aid of an Oregon State Police plane and a National Guard helicopter.
Three county detectives, a sergeant and a deputy have been assigned to the case and have been doing follow up with friends and family members around the state this week.
Wolfe said that Glenn Pennie's brother, Dale Pennie, who lives in Coos County, has been contacted as a possible person of interest in the disappearance because of the relationship between the two. Wolfe declined to elaborate on that relationship.
Wolfe said that interviewing Dale Pennie yielded no new information on the current location of Glenn Pennie, but that officials are able to account for the whereabouts of Dale Pennie at the time his brother vanished.
Wolfe said the sheriff's office isn't any closer to finding Glenn Pennie today than last week. He's hoping the public might be able to lend a hand.
"Whatever people might have, we'd be more than happy to listen at this point," he said.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Glenn Pennie is asked to call Det. Burney Krauger of the Polk County Sheriff's Office at 503-623-9251.