The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

October 5, 2013

Balloons will honor Conneaut man missing two years today

By MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — Family and friends of Tim Rhodes will gather at Conneaut’s Township Park this afternoon to commemorate the second anniversary of the city man’s disappearance.

At 2 p.m. today, balloons will be sent into the sky at the edge of Lake Erie as a tribute to the 53-year-old man last seen on Oct. 5, 2011. Relatives are hoping for a large, supportive crowd.

“I hope so,” said Pat Rhodes, the missing man’s stepmother. “We’ve ordered 100 balloons.”

Police continue to investigate every lead received pertaining to the case, Police Chief Charles Burlingham said recently. Rhodes shared a home on Beaver Street, investigators said at the time. Rhodes’ housemate was the last person to see him, officers said.

Relatives became alarmed when they hadn’t heard from Rhodes after two days, which they said was extremely out of character for a man who enjoyed maintaining telephone contact. All of Rhodes’ belongings were still in his house, investigators said.

The family last held a public vigil July 2012 at a city park. At the time, relatives were cautiously optimistic about Rhodes’ fate. It’s increasingly difficult to maintain a positive outlook, Pat Rhodes said Friday. However, she is confident the truth will surface soon.

“It’s hard to believe two years have passed,” she said. “Eventually everything will come to light. Everyone assumes (Tim) just didn’t run away. We have to have hope.”