A funeral mass will be held October 6th for Charlie Dowd, the retired San Francisco firefighter, who went missing after boarding an Amtrak passenger train.
A BNSF railway worker found Dowd’s body in Haigler, NE Friday.
His disappearance sparked an intense manhunt that focused on northeastern Colorado and southwestern Nebraska.
Dowd, 69, was last seen in the early morning hours of September 14th, according to family members. An Amtrak conductor reported he had spoken with Dowd after the train had left Denver. The conductor described Dowd as disoriented. Family members say Dowd, at times, took medication that could prompt confusion.
Family members last had contact with Dowd on the 13th of September, when the train was in the Denver area. He had boarded the California Zephyr in Emeryville the previous day. He was traveling from the San Francisco area to Montreal, Canada to meet with his son and grandchildren. When the train arrived in Chicago, Dowd wasn’t onboard, though Amtrak staff found his baggage and his cell phone.
The search narrowed to northeastern Colorado and southwestern Nebraska after a passenger on the train reported seeing Dowd near a door of the train late one evening. Another passenger reported observing the exterior door ajar later that evening. The incidents weren’t reported to Amtrak officials until the next morning.
The family used Facebook to generate interest in the missing person case and solicit any information to help locate Dowd. The Facebook page attracted nearly 4,000 “likes”.
The family has made a final post:
The Dowd family would like to thank the numerous people in the Bay Area and across the country who have supported them during this challenging time, but especially to the thousands of concerned citizens who posted messages of hope and support here on Facebook. It was with your voices that we were able to #FindCharlie.
Dowd, from San Mateo, is survived by his wife of 45 years, Patricia Dowd, their two children and grandchildren. A funeral mass is planned for Saturday, October 6th, at St. Phillip’s Church with private interment to follow.