October 2, 2014

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Councilman Flores reported missing

LORAIN – The worried family of Lorain City Councilman Dennis Flores reported him missing Saturday night after not hearing from him for more than 24 hours, a dispatcher with the Police Department confirmed.

“We’re just concerned,” said 55-year-old Flores’ sister, Mary Flores. “We’re hoping that he’s OK, but so far he’s just not available as far as we know. I don’t know where he’s at or what’s going on. He hasn’t called here.”

Flores, D-2nd Ward, was described by Councilwoman Anne Molnar, D-at large, as “despondent.”

“This is not like Dennis,” Molnar said Saturday night. “He has been very despondent. His life has been threatened. He’s been wearing a bullet-proof vest and he carries a gun.”

Molnar said Flores hadn’t confided in her about what was upsetting him or what the nature of the death threats was.

Mary Flores, who lives with Dennis and their 84-year-old mother on West 18th Street, said Flores left their home around 7 p.m. Friday.

“My mother was here when he left,” Mary Flores said. “He never said where he was going to go. We’ve just been calling around to see if anyone has seen him. My mom gets really worried about him. It’s unusual for him to leave and not say he’s not coming home.”

Mary Flores said a police officer took a missing person’s report from the family around 8:30 p.m. Saturday night.

A lot of people were looking for Dennis Flores on Saturday night, including the Guardian Angels, Molnar said.

“They’re going street to street,” she said. “Everybody’s out looking for him. He moved back here to take care of his mother, and he’s been staying with her and taking care of her.”

Molnar said Dennis Flores was supposed to meet with her this coming week to talk – a meeting she set up because she’s been concerned about him, citing his unusually quiet demeanor during a recent City Council committee meeting that got fairly heated.

“Something is bothering him terribly,” Molnar said, coming close to tears. “I am very worried about him. There’s about five of us on Council that are very close to each other. I feel like I want to cry. I feel like something is not right and something happened to him, I really do.”

Mayor Tony Krasienko said he was aware of the situation.

“I’m trying to get some additional information on it,” Krasienko said, adding that police are looking for Dennis Flores’ burnt-orange Ford Focus.

“I don’t know if he was in his car last night, but they’ll search for his vehicle, too,” Krasienko said.

The officer investigating the case didn’t return a phone call Saturday seeking comment.

Contact Alicia Castelli at 329-7144 or acastelli@chroniclet.com.