The Oregon man who visited Northwest Indiana and then failed to return home as scheduled has been missing for more than a month, leading police to become increasingly concerned.
Police said those who know the man -- Garren Rudolph Beller, 38, of Ashland, Ore. -- initially hoped his absence could be attributed to him taking a detour to go skiing or hit a beach somewhere warm.
"The longer we go with no communication and contact, I'm afraid that (a vacation) is not going to be the situation," said Sgt. Jim Alderman, of the Ashland, Ore., police department.
Alderman described Beller as a "very communicative" person and said it would be unusual for him to go a month without talking with anyone.
Beller was in Northwest Indiana from Nov. 15 to 19 and spent time at a Lake Eliza house. He reportedly was dropped off at a Chicago train station Nov. 19 to take an Amtrak train to Oregon, but he never used his ticket. He was reported missing Nov. 25, four days after he was supposed to be home.
Coincidentally, the Lake Eliza home where he stayed exploded and burned Nov. 23. The cause has not been determined and nobody was found to be inside the home at the time of the incident.
Alderman said Beller hasn't used a credit card, called anyone with his cellular phone or taken any flights since his disappearance. Alderman said police have worked the case full-time for a month now, coordinating with the FBI and police in Chicago as well as Porter and Lake counties.
"The hard part for us is we have a missing person here, but he was last seen back East," Alderman said.
"We're looking at all angles, but we don't have anything to hang our hat on."
Anyone who saw Beller -- who is 5 feet 6 inches and 160 pounds with shoulder-length brown hair and hazel eyes -- is asked to call Porter County Detective Sgt. Erik Wiseman at (219) 477-3136.