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Search intensifies for blind man missing since Wednesday

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Posted at 8:24 PM, Mar 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-16 01:41:09-04

By Caroline Connolly, Reporter, and Brittany Green-Miner, Web Content Producer.

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah - Police in South Salt Lake are looking for a legally blind 35-year-old man who has been missing since Wednesday.

Benjamin Thomas Hyde was last seen at his home at the Valley Mental Health assisted living center around 4:00 p.m. Police say Hyde missed his dinner call, and then didn't show up to take his medicine at the center, causing staff to grow concerned.

Hyde’s mother, Kathy Auger, drove in from Idaho late Thursday to help with the search.

"If there's anybody out there that's seen him or thinks they've seen him, just reach out, say, 'Are you Ben?' He's the friendliest guy in the world," said Auger.

Hyde's extended family, as well as local police officers, spent much of Friday handing out flyers to businesses located within areas Hyde is known to frequent.

"He left without any warm clothing, without his wallet and ID. So, we're worried he might have been disoriented and wandered off," said Chief Chris Snyder of the South Salt Lake Police Dept.

A search of the Jordan River by boat and helicopter turned up nothing Friday afternoon, but with the nights growing colder, officials plan to expand their efforts into other parts of the city as soon as possible.

Chief Snyder explained, "Even though it's nice during the day, it's cooling off at night, and he's been out for two nights now and exposure is of great concern to us."

Officers don't suspect foul play in Hyde's disappearance.

Hyde is 6-foot-1-inch tall, around 180 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a dark-colored tee-shirt and dark pants.

Anyone with information about Hyde's location is asked to contact South Salt Lake Police at 801-840-4000.