NILES - Sharon Six takes a deep breath as she fights back tears that have building for weeks.
"I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy," Six said during a telephone interview last week.
For more than three weeks, Six has been on a desperate search for her son, Timothy Jr., who has been missing since he checked himself out of Trumbull Memorial Hospital in Warren on Feb. 18.
Special to the Tribune Chronicle
Timothy Six Jr., 36, of Niles, has been missing since he checked himself out of Trumbull Memorial Hospital in Warren on Feb. 18. HIs family is asking for help in searching for him.
"The last image we have of him is from the security camera, walking out of the hospital at about 2 o'clock," Sharon said.
Residing in Largo, Fla., Sharon and her husband, Tim Sr., have spent much of the last several weeks traveling between Largo and Trumbull County. They've spent many days and sleepless nights putting up missing person posters and checking local hospitals, missions and churches.
Sometimes, the family just drives or walks the streets, looking for any sign of their 36-year-old son.
Anyone with information on Six can contact their local police department, or his parents, Sharon, 727-288-3746, or Tim Sr., 727-288-1340.
"Living in Florida, it is expensive for us to stay here full-time," Sharon said. "But, we've tried to be there as much as possible. We put over 1,000 miles on our car in the last few weeks. "
According to Sharon, Timothy has struggled with paranoid schizophrenia for years, but he has never gone missing in his adult life.
"When he was a teenager, it happened a couple times but nothing like this," Sharon said. "Also, we know he hasn't taken his medication for at least a month. That's going by the last time he got his meds filled and how many are left in the bottle."
In addition to not having his much-needed medication, Timothy has no money or identification, and he left the hospital wearing just a T-shirt and shorts.
"Every time the phone rings, I just hope and pray it is him or someone saying they found him," Sharon said.
The events that led to his disappearance are hazy, but Sharon said the problems began after he had a verbal altercation with a family member with whom he shared a home in Niles. Timothy has been living in Trumbull County for a little over a year.
"Before all of that happened, he'd always stay in touch and call us from up there," Sharon said. "Sometimes he would call 10 to 15 times a day, but in the last couple days before he disappeared, it was just once a day."
The day following the altercation, Timothy met with his social worker and expressed to her a recent onset of severe depression.
"They sent him to the hospital from there," Sharon said. "And that was it."
In the days following his disappearance, the family filed a missing persons report with the Warren Police Department and followed up with calls to other local agencies.
Their diligence has yielded a couple potential leads.
On the Sunday following his disappearance, they received a call from a woman who had seen him walking along state Route 169 toward Niles.
"She said he had on a white baseball cap, shorts and a T-shirt, and he was walking with his head down," Sharon said. "We think that was definitely him."
Then, about 10 days ago, a school bus driver for Howland Local Schools reported she had seen a man matching Timothy's appearance going in and out of a vacant home near Niles Road several days in a row.
However, the man was said to be wearing dark-colored pants, a hooded sweatshirt and carrying a backpack. Since the missing man has no money or change of clothes, they are less sure the report was actually their son.
"Howland police told us they checked it out, but found nothing," Sharon said.
Frustrated and searching for answers, the family is hoping Timothy's story will resonate with someone, sending them in the right direction.
"As far as we know, he's still in the area somewhere," Sharon explained. "He could be in Youngstown, Warren, Niles ... pretty much anywhere."
Timothy Six Jr. is 6 feet tall, 285 pounds with black hair, possibly wearing a mustache and beard.
If seen, contact local law enforcement or the family directly. Sharon can be reached at 727-288-3746 or Tim Sr. at 727-288-1340.