The following morning, after he failed to get home, A.J.’s daughters contacted the police and reported him missing.
Authorities discovered A.J.’s car within a few hours– abandoned in a park just across the street from his AA club. And at that point, Melissa grew concerned.
“I immediately thought foul play because it just wouldn’t be like him to park his car where everybody could find it, and everybody knows him, and disappear,” she said.
In spite of Melissa’s hunch, investigators found no indicators of foul play. The only evidence they recovered was A.J.’s checkbook and wallet, which had been tucked underneath the front seat of the vehicle.
Soon afterward, though, a handful of witnesses did come forward. They claimed to have spotted A.J. in town in the days after he disappeared.
One resident, Kenneth Pelligran, recalled how he ran into the 50-year-old outside of a convenience store. After knowing A.J. his whole life, though, Kenneth claimed to know something was off.
“It was a strange situation for me to see him in because he just didn’t look the same as he always did,” Kenneth detailed.
“He was wearing a flannel shirt, something like a lumberjack style, and the pants were loose fitting, brown, very loose fitting; it wasn’t neat. And he was wearing some old tennis shoes,” Kenneth continued.
“So that struck me as wrong because of all the times I’ve known him since 7-years-old, I’ve never seen him with his hair out of place or not dressed up neat. A.J. was nervous. It was like he was being watched.”
Kenneth also revealed how he spotted a compact red car sitting out front of the convenience store. The vehicle reportedly had three men sitting inside with the engine running; meanwhile, A.J. had been on the phone and looking toward the car.
After Kenneth exited the store, though, both the car and A.J. were gone.