A mystified family flew in to help with search for their son and brother
Update, Thursday, June 16: Harold Marcrum has been found and reunited with family members, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release the afternoon of Thursday, June 16.
By Paul Huard for Ashland.news
Harold “Harry” Marcrum, 26, disappeared May 30 after leaving his Ashland home for a walk.
“It’s a strange case, to be sure,” his father said. “We just don’t know what happened.”
His family members describe him as a “brilliant loner” who taught himself physics and to play the bass guitar, who studied art in Norway and the Art Institute in Chicago, and who has plans to travel to his home state of Pennsylvania and the train ticket to get him there.
They say that he is a man with no reason to disappear.
“He is living his dream,” said Jack Marcrum, 28, his older brother. “He gets to paint all day, do his computer, he gets to live on a farm, and he can do some labor here and there. It’s a free lifestyle.”
Yet, Harold “Harry” Marcrum, 26, vanished after he told his brother he would walk from his rural residence near South Valley View Road on the Bear Creek Greenway to downtown Ashland. It is the last time a family member saw Harry.
The family reported him missing Thursday, June 2. Jackson County Sheriff’s Office investigators did some initial work on the case, then on Saturday, June 4, alerted the public and asked for its help in a news release. By Tuesday, June 7, the search had grown to include a K-9 units, horseback patrols, drones, fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter units. They searched both sides of Bear Creek, but Harry remains missing.
“It’s a strange case, to be sure,” said Alex Marcrum, who came from his home in Reedsville, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Danette, to look for his son. “We just don’t know what happened.”
What the family is sure about is Harry’s disappearance is completely out of character. Although they described his personality as “standoffish,” they said he has never disappeared before.
“I call him a 700,000-foot puddle,” said Alex Marcrum. “When he focuses on something, it’s deep.”
“He doesn’t want to call attention to himself,” said Danette Marcrum, his stepmother. “He is also not someone to have worldly possessions. He’s very humble, he’s a man of little substance.”
As far as they know, he has no physical ailment or mental illness that would prompt him to disappear. They also said that he has no online presence with a social media account, no known romantic relationship, no enemies, and no friends that he would accompany impulsively on a journey.
The family also strongly ruled out that drugs or alcohol could be involved. “He’s totally sober,” said his father.
They also doubt that he committed suicide.
“You can’t rule it out,” said Maggie Marcrum, 23, Pittsburg, Penn., who is a sister. “But I know my brother well enough to know that he would come to somebody. He would talk to me, he would talk to my other sister, he would talk to Jack, or he would call my mom. I know him well enough to know that.”
Family members believe he is still alive, particularly since K-9 units found no trace of a dead body on the Greenway Trail during Tuesday’s search. They said that authorities told them that investigators are also looking into whether his credit cards or bank account are being used.
When he disappeared on May 30, Harry Marcrum left his wallet and cell phone behind, but took his laptop and its charger with him. They said he is computer literate, understands Web design, uses cryptocurrency such as bit coin, and keeps financial information on the laptop.
However, they also said that the laptop was not working well and that Harry Marcrum intended to purchase a replacement for it.
The family is appealing to the public for help, asking anyone who sees him to contact authorities.
“He’s not going to ask anyone for help,” said Alex Marcrum, the father.
“Don’t be scared to approach him if you see him,” said Jack Marcrum, the brother. “Walk up to him and say, ‘Hey, Harry.’ He’s a peaceful guy. He’s not going to bite.”
Harry Marcrum is a 6-foot tall, white, blue-eyed, blond-haired male weighing 180-200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black shirt with black shoes. Anyone who has seen Marcrum or knows anything about his whereabouts is asked to call Search and Rescue Sgt. Shawn Richards at 541-591-1843.
Email freelance reporter Paul R. Huard at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ashland.news Executive Editor Bert Etling contributed to this report. Email him at email@example.com.