Salt Lake police are asking for help in locating a retarded man who has been missing since July.
Terrell Sommers, 56, was apparently released from the Salt Lake County Jail on July 17. He was seen two days later in the Tremonton area, where a social worker sent him to Ogden on a bus, said his sister, Barbara Jones. But he has not been seen since."I hope someone's seen him and knows where he's at," she said. "I don't even know if he's alive or not."
Although Jones said she is worried and concerned about her brother's welfare, she is also upset that jail officials released her retarded brother - who has the mentality of a 5- or 6-year-old - to the streets on his own without first informing her or anyone else.
"They held him there for (seven) days and then just kicked him out," Jones said. "I can't understand why they'd kick out a retarded person like him."
Sommers was booked into jail on July 10 after his niece phoned the sheriff's office. Sommers was apparently pounding on her door (where he once lived with her family) and refused to leave. Sheriff's reports indicate that earlier that day, Sommers had threatened to kill the woman's husband "so that he could have (her)." But court records indicate he was never charged with a crime and was released seven days later.
"I called (the jail) to see how he was doing and they said, `Well, he's not here,' " Jones said. "If I find my brother dead, I'm going to raise hell with the state of Utah. They did him wrong."
But jail officials said they doubt he was simply released to the streets. Anyone who is held in the jail's mental health unit, as Sommers likely was, is released only after someone responsible for that person is contacted.
"Whatever happened on his (Sommers') case, I couldn't say, but that's the general policy," said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Dan Ipsom. "We make mistakes sometimes, but I can't say if that happened here."
Sommers is 5 feet 5 inches tall, 200 pounds with gray hair. Police say he may use other names.