Authorities are searching for clues regarding the whereabouts of a 54-year-old Crescent City man who disappeared late last month.
Steven Wayne Ballard was re*ported missing to the Crescent City Police Dep*artment on Nov. 9. He was last seen by friends riding his bike down A Street on Oct. 30 after telling them he was going to Elk Valley Casino.
“We’re looking at any type of leads available of him still being around,” Crescent City Police Chief Doug Plack said Monday. “One of the things that really, honestly concerns us is we currently have his bicycle in our possession.”
Ballard was “well-regarded” by the people he knew, according to Plack, and was not considered a trouble-maker. Plack said Ballard also kept in close contact with his mother — calling her on almost a daily basis — but has not called her since his disappearance.
“We don’t know the complexity of the case” or whether foul play is involved, Plack said. “We are retracing the steps from where he was last seen.”
Ballard was seen at the casino Oct. 30, and as of Monday authorities were still in the process of obtaining and reviewing security camera footage from that day.
The Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office will assist city police in the investigation. Plack said the two agencies will also work together to determine if a human foot inside a shoe found at Whaler Island on Nov. 15 has any connection to Ballard.
Sheriff’s Detective Ed Fleshman said preliminary evidence doesn’t indicate there’s a connection between the foot and Ballard, but added that DNA testing will “conclusively prove” whether that assumption is true.
“The size of the shoe at this point does not seem to match the size of the missing person’s,” Fleshman said. “We are trying to determine whether or not the owner of the foot met with foul play ... and determine whether or not it belonged to this missing person or any other missing person.”
Ballard is described as 6 feet 1 inch tall, 155 pounds with long blond hair, a blond beard and moustache, and blue eyes. When last seen, he was wearing blue jeans, a red, white and blue flannel shirt, and a black leather coat. He was also wearing a green fisherman-style hat and green backpack with a single over-the-shoulder strap.
Anyone with any information about Ballard’s whereabouts or his disappearance is encouraged to call the Crescent City Police Department at 464-2133, or leave a message on the agency’s tip line at 218-4229.