SOUTHWEST HARBOR, Maine — Area officials and residents continue to search for a local man with autism, but little progress had been made as of Monday evening.

The search for Pete Peterson, 61, began late last week after residents realized they had not seen him for a few days. Peterson often is spotted walking around Southwest Harbor and is a regular patron of several local businesses and the library. By last Friday, Sept. 24, local business owners and residents were beginning to wonder where he was.

Police have received reports that Peterson, who lives on his own, was spotted last either Sept. 22 near Dysart’s Great Marina in Southwest Harbor or Sept. 23 near the causeway that separates Mount Desert Island from Trenton. Peterson frequently hitchhikes around MDI or to and from Ellsworth.

Police, game wardens and volunteers have been involved in unsuccessful efforts to locate Peterson, who also has high blood pressure and diabetes.

Peterson is 6 feet 1 inch tall, weighs 230 pounds, is bald and has a gray beard. He was reported wearing bluejeans and possibly a gray hooded sweatshirt at the times of his most recent sightings. He sometimes wears eyeglasses and walks with a limp.

Anyone with information about Peterson’s whereabouts may contact the Southwest Harbor Police Department at 244-7912.

The Mount Desert Islander contributed the photograph to go with this story.

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Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....