Dozens join search for Martin Rogers, missing NIH scientist

Martin John Rogers went missing on Aug. 21. (Photo courtesy of the Rogers family)

DARNESTOWN, Md. (WJLA) – On Labor Day, dozens joined the search for an NIH scientist who has been missing for more than a week.

Martin John Rogers’ family told ABC 7 News he was last seen leaving his Gaithersburg home for work on Aug. 21. Now, they’re concerned he is suffering from an amnesia-like illness, and may be wandering around alone and confused.

The search party, which includes some of Rogers’ relatives from England, calls itself “Team Rogers.” More than 100 searchers pounded the pavement on Monday, putting up new fliers and signs, getting the word out about Rogers’ disappearance.

“He might be confused, he might not know where he is,” said searcher Amanda Karst. “He might look a little disheveled, he might have lost his bearings.”

Police received tips of possible sightings of the 54-year-old along the C&O Canal. There has been an exhaustive search, but people are also looking beyond the trail. So, the new signs are emphasizing Rogers’ car, a blue 2001 Audi A4 with Maryland license plate 1BF-6739.

At the family’s command center, organizers mapped out the search territory, some 200 miles that extend up into western Maryland and West Virginia.

Rogers’ cell phone has not been used. He last used his credit card the day he disappeared, checking into a hotel in La Vale. The clerk noticed his behavior was strange.

“He was not himself,” said Rogers’ wife, Kelley. “He looked panicked, drenched in sweat, trembling; clearly, something was wrong.”

Now, organizers are focused on stepping up their search, and they believe finding Rogers’ car is key.

“Anyone who’s watching, we need my husband home,” Kelley Rogers said. “Please, help us get him home by keeping an eye out for that car.”

On Tuesday, the search party is expected to continue looking for Rogers as far north as Pennsylvania.