Family continues to search for man reported missing in 2012

OKEECHOBEE — An Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) investigation continued Monday, Jan. 22, for a Sarasota man reported missing back in August 2012.

Newton Whidden has been missing since Aug. 20, 2012, when he was last seen in the area of 4800 10th Street in Sarasota. Mr. Whidden’s 2000 white Dodge Caravan was found Aug. 22, 2012 on Northeast 128th Avenue in Okeechobee County. The vehicle appeared to be stuck in a ditch.

In August 2012, personnel from OCSO spent days combing the vast pastures in the northwest section of the county where Mr. Whidden’s vehicle was found. They even walked small ponds and had divers search the deeper ponds, according to reports from the time.

Mr. Whidden was reported as being 5-feet-9-inches tall, weighed approximately 130 pounds, had gray hair and hazel eyes. Mr. Whidden was a World War II veteran and described as a very active man who practiced yoga.

In 2014, a cash reward was offered for information leading to the whereabouts and recovery of Mr. Whidden.

On Jan. 22, 2018, family, friends and Peace River K-9 Search and Rescue conducted a search. As of press time, no new information has become available.

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