Family searching for missing 91-year-old with ties to Youngstown

Family believes that Wintersville resident John Mathes may be in the Youngstown area, after being reported missing four days ago.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Four days ago, a 91-year-old man known as “Pepsi” John Mathes went missing in Jefferson County, and the family thinks that he may be in the Youngstown area.

The man is a resident of Wintersville, Ohio, near Steubenville. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a burgundy pin-striped shirt and a beige jacket.

Mathes granddaughter, Allison Eastham, said she believes her grandfather could be in the Youngstown area.

“We have family in the Youngstown-Hubbard areas, and when my grandma was around, they used to spend a lot of time out there,” she said.

Mathes is believed to be driving his 2007 Buick Lacrosse. The license plate reads “1PEPSI”.

Allison Eastham is asking for the area's help in locating her missing grandfather, who lives in Wintersville, Ohio.
Allison Eastham is asking for the area’s help in locating her missing grandfather, who lives in Wintersville, Ohio.

Mathes used to be a deliveryman for Pepsi, and his family believes he may be on one of his old delivery routes.

“If he would remember anything, if anyone was able to talk to him, he would remember he worked for Pepsi,” Eastham said. “I mean, he is the Pepsi man. Everybody knows him as Pepsi John.”

More than 50 people in Jefferson County have been looking for Mathes during the last couple days, and Eastham said they have received several calls saying her grandfather has been spotted. But none of the calls have enough information to bring him home.

Eastham said, as the days go on, she worries more.

“He hasn’t had his medicine in four days now, so he’s probably really disoriented,” she said.

Eastham said Mathes has not been diagnosed with dementia, but he is 91 and very forgetful. She says he loves to drive on back country roads, and maybe he is thinking that he he is looking for family.

“He’s a very proud man. He wouldn’t ask for help,” she said.

Anyone with information on Mathes’ whereabouts is asked to call his or her local police department.

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