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Family Worried After Man Disappears In Natrona Heights

NATRONA HEIGHTS (KDKA) - A local woman remains concerned for her husband's well-being after he disappeared from their home in Natrona Heights late last week.

Judy Witucki says her husband, 49-year-old Howard Matthew Witucki, has been missing since Dec. 30 when he left their home on foot.

"He could have fallen and gotten hurt, or someone could have harmed him or he could have gotten confused and gotten lost."

Her concerns for his safety are heightened because her husband is disabled and has a number of health issues.

"He has a very distinctive limp from his stroke residuals," said Witucki. "He had a massive stroke almost 17 years ago, and that's why he's disabled. His health has actually declined in the last six months. His leg gets very stiff, and he could be off balance."

Because of his health problems, Witucki says she worries that he might be very fatigued from walking. She says his limp would be more pronounced.

Witucki says her husband usually stops at the nearby BP station for coffee. So now, she's waiting to see if he appears on their surveillance video.

Meanwhile, help is coming in from the community.

Cindy Braden, with Canine Aided Emergency Search & Rescue, and her Labrador retriever have joined efforts. The highly-trained cadaver dog helped to search an area near Lower Burrell.

"These dogs are North American Police Dog-certified, so these dogs carry national certifications with them," said Braden. "The test is amazing they have to pass; so, when we're in the woods, we are comfortable. We're going to find what they are looking for, if it's there."

The extensive search was called off Sunday, but is expected to continue soon. Meanwhile, Witucki is hoping and praying that her husband, who is about five-feet-10-inches tall and 183 pounds, will be found soon.

"We thank everybody who is trying to help, and we just need everybody to get the word out there," she said. "Anybody who sees him, please call."

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