Search underway for missing preacher

November 23, 2008 5:46:28 PM PST
An elderly pastor has been missing for a week and now volunteers are scouring the area where he disappeared trying to find him. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Family members are holding on to hope, praying that 93-year-old Luetellie Pinesette, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, is alive. Police say the preacher was last seen with his grandson, Lionel Pinesette, last Sunday at a convenience store in Texas City. The grandson told his mother that at some point Luetellie just walked away from him.

"It certainly doesn't look good," admitted Tim Miller of Texas Equusearch. "He has slight dementia. He has high blood pressure. He has been off his medication for a week."

Texas Equusearch has joined in the search for the elderly man. The focus so far has been in the west Texas City area where Pinesette lived, but so far no clues have surfaced.

Luetellie's daughter Dorothy Pinesette said, "He is a good daddy and he's a good grandfather. You know, he doesn't bother anybody. Everybody knows him around here."

Dorothy says she and her son got into an argument after he lost track of her dad that night. Her son was later arrested for assaulting his mother, but she's confident that he has nothing to do with her father's disappearance.

"He loves his papa," Dorothy said. "No, I don't think... No doubt in my mind that he didn't hurt him."

Family members also say Luetellie's wife is not cooperating with the search, making the investigation more difficult.

"It doesn't add up," said Sharonda Allen, Luetellie's granddaughter. "It's a whole bunch of question marks."

"We've got a grandson who is not talking. A wife that her story is not consistent," Miller explained. "Now we got two families that are feuding on top of it."

Despite the challenges, the search for the preacher must go on and family members say it's their faith that will guide them until they find the beloved preacher. If you've seen the pastor, you're asked to call local police, or Texas Equusearch at 1-877-270-9500.

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