Still missing a year later

Staff writer

A man who went missing from a Peabody care facility 13 months ago has still not been located.

Gale “Ralph” Keilman, now 57, disappeared Aug. 17, 2015, from Peabody Health and Rehabilitation Center. He was last seen going over a tall wooden fence that surrounds a patio. As far as can be told, he might have well have gone over the edge of the earth.

Despite days of intense searching by law enforcement, rehab employees, and community volunteers, no trace of Keilman could be found. He simply has not been seen since.

Keilman’s twin brother, Russell Keilman, lives in Ness City. He said the family still hopes his brother will one day be found. Ralph Keilman is one of six brothers and sisters in the family, Russell Keilman said.

Because of the state of his brother’s health, he hasn’t come home for holidays in years, Russell Keilman said.

Soon after Ralph Keilman’s disappearance, his mother, Betty Keilman, said he suffers from severe schizophrenia after a high-voltage electrocution in 1980, and is partially paralyzed and unable to talk from a self-inflicted gunshot in 1983.

“We’ve never heard anything and he’s never shown up,” Russell said. “They’re hoping. They haven’t given up.”

Ralph Keilman’s name, description, and information about his disappearance were added to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons database, but that brought no leads.

Peabody police chief Bruce Burke said no solid leads have developed in the Keilman disappearance. Burke said he hopes Keilman eventually shows up.

Keilman’s mother, Betty Keilman, could not be reached for comment in this article.

Last modified Sept. 14, 2016