Bellingham, WA – The body of 87-year old Liberato “Bob” Trotta was found around 3:00 pm on Wednesday, March 1st 2017 in some dense brush near the condominiums by Boulevard Park in Bellingham. Mr. Trotta had reportedly fallen in a place that was practically invisible to anyone. Workers in the area discovered him by accident and called 9-1-1.
Mr. Trotta, who had dementia, went missing around 10:00 p.m. on February 20th, 2017 from his home in the 400 block of Chuckanut Drive North in Whatcom County.
Search and Rescue Crews, including dogs and a helicopter unsuccessfully searched for Mr. Trotta the night he went missing and late into the following day. The Bellingham Police Department followed up on multiple leads from the public on possible sighting of Mr. Trotta in various locations in and around Bellingham.
Family, Friends and strangers continued an unofficial search for Mr. Trotta and a Facebook page titled, Find Liberato “Bob” Trotta had been set up by Chris Nelson, so volunteer searchers could connect with one another and share information and photos of areas searched.
In addition to ground searches, family and friends hung posters around town and in areas where Mr. Trotta had possibly been seen.
On Wednesday afternoon, Gary Powell and a Co-worker who were working in the area, had just finished their lunch when they noticed what they thought was a large duffel bag in some dense brush. Further inspection revealed the duffel bag was actually the remains of Mr. Trotta.
Mr. Trotta’s Wife, Christine Roberts, told The Bellingham Herald, that the Bellingham Police Contacted her while she was meeting a friend in Fairhaven, and she immediately went home. She said police met her there to discuss the case and provided her with a Support Officer.
Officers told her it appears that Mr. Trotta has been dead for about a week, and that no foul play is suspected.
She said “He was not visible from any angle except where he fell. It’s nice that somebody was observant enough to find him.”
She had been holding out hope that Bob might have hitched a ride and was being cared for by a good Samaritan who hadn’t read the news that he was missing.
Christine Roberts said she is very touched by all the support and help she has received from the community in the search for Bob and she wants to Thank everyone who searched for him for the last nine days.