Graham Lacher was last seen on June 6 walking away from Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center in Bangor. Credit: Courtesy of the Maine Department of Public Safety

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Tammy Lacher Scully is the mother of Graham Lacher, who remains missing.

My disabled, 37-year-old son Graham Lacher’s June 6 disappearance in Bangor is old news as far as the media is concerned. For us it is fresh agony every day.

Every day we leave our home in Belfast and head for Bangor — if we aren’t already up there – searching during the late/early/pre-dawn hours from a rented room. We have checked other areas of the state, but our focus remains here. Every day we believe we have a chance of finding him; every night we return without him.

For two months, our waking nightmare has merged with some of our sleeping ones — I dreamt the other night I was pulled under by a cold dark river as I searched its banks for my son.

Police want me to give a DNA sample so when they find a body, they can tell me if it’s Graham’s. But I’m not ready to do that; it feels awfully close to giving up. Delaying seems excusable, given what we’ve endured — namely, the lack of an immediate and thorough search when my son first bolted into the woods behind Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center, where he was being treated for schizophrenia. I won’t let the idea that Graham might be dead impede further efforts to find him.

Why do I think my son is still alive? Because despite the voices in his head that put his life in jeopardy, he’s not suicidal. In fact, he believes “they” are giving him commands vital to his well-being. A few days before he ran, he wrote in his journal: “They’re telling you to go as soon as their timing is wisest.”

What seems irrational and dangerous to most of us — running into the woods without resources of any kind — is to him a command he can’t refuse. He actually believes he’s avoiding danger by heeding it. One of the reasons I think he’s still in the area is because to him, strangers mean danger so he’s not likely to make friends or take rides.

Graham is also on the autism spectrum, which makes him nonsocial — another reason he’s not likely to make a friend. And he is extremely intelligent. He has an encyclopedic recall of things he’s read. He attends to every detail of what’s going on around him, even when it looks like he’s in another world, carrying on a conversation the rest of us can’t hear.

And he was in excellent physical condition when he ran. He doesn’t use or abuse any substances, not even cigarettes or alcohol, let alone street drugs. He is disciplined, even obsessed, about diet and exercise. So I do believe he’s capable of hiding out and watching, taking note of how to get food and water, and quickly grabbing them when nobody’s looking.

But an obsession with survival is not the same as caring for himself, as one police officer recently implied: “If he’s still out there, after all this time, he’s clearly able to take care of himself,” he told me.

A person hiding in fear, unsheltered, without crucial medications or any money, and eating from garbage cans is not my definition of taking care of himself.

That’s why we leave our house every day to look for our son. If he’s still alive, he’s barely surviving and we want more for him than that.

Because his disappearance is considered life threatening, a Silver Alert has been issued by the state. Graham Lacher is 5’11”, has brown hair and blue eyes, weighs around 200 pounds. and wears black-rimmed prescription glasses. He was last seen wearing dark Carhartt-like work clothes, a hunter orange hat and black boots.

Because he has been known to walk long distances, it is possible that he could have traveled beyond the Bangor area. If spotted, contact local authorities or dial 911. He should not be approached. If he enters the woods after being seen, the point of entry should be noted and reported to authorities. He should not be pursued into the woods, as doing so could interfere with some K9 efforts to locate him.

For more information, contact the Bangor Police Department at 207-947-7384 or visit the Facebook page MissingGrahamLacher.