Gaithersburg man remains missing
Family, friends believe respected businessman was abducted
Kylen Johnson, founder of the Maryland Missing Persons Network, searches the Internet every day for people reported missing in the state to add to her website, www.marylandmissing.com.
When she saw the news of 30-year-old Jaime Romero of Gaithersburg, who went missing April 2, she was perplexed.
"This situation is unique, where he is just an all-around good guy, and there doesn't seem to be an all-around real reason why he may disappear," said Johnson, a Clarksburg resident who has monitored missing persons in the state for about 10 years.
Montgomery County Police and Romero's family say they have no new information on his whereabouts.
His sister, Sonia Cornejo, and his father, Agustin Romero, describe him as a good man and a devout Christian who doesn't drink, do drugs or party.
Jaime Romero, who lives with his mother and stepfather in the 9000 block of Centerway Road, is one of about 200 missing adults now listed on Johnson's website. That number is about average, she said.
Often, when adults go missing, they are known for running away, have a mental disorder or are senile, Johnson said.
About one in five of adults older than 20 years old who went missing nationwide in 2010 were disabled or senile, according to statistics from the FBI's National Crime Information Center database.
Last year in Montgomery County, 349 adults went missing from January to September, and 85 of those cases remain open, according to Blanca Kling, a county police spokeswoman.
County police believe Romero's case is unusual, according to spokeswoman Lucille Baur.
Nationally, 89 percent of missing people are found within five to seven days, according to LaDonna Meredith of Let's Bring Them Home, a missing persons organization.
Romero is normally in contact with his family several times a day. He was about to propose to his girlfriend and planned to get married in September, his family said.
Romero runs his own electrical company, Elite Electrical Design, out of his home.
He is a well-respected and very trustworthy businessman, according to Connie Lopez-Parker of Bethesda-based Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., who has been recommending him to her clients for the last four years.
After about six months working with Romero, Lopez-Parker said, she trusted him enough to leave him the key to her house. She thinks of him as a son.
Lopez-Parker does not believe he left voluntarily, and is disappointed his case is not getting more attention.
"When it is a guy and especially a Latino man people don't seem to be as concerned," she said. "They say, Who knows what kind of business this kid was into?' But he is so the opposite of that.
"He was a rising young man in the community."
Romero's family believes he was abducted, perhaps mistakenly, although police have found no evidence of foul play.
About 8 percent of adults who were reported missing in the U.S. in 2010 were abducted, according to the FBI.
Agustin Romero said his son would not just walk away.
"He would leave a note and a letter and explain; he would say, Sorry, Mom,' in some detail," he said. "He hadn't done anything like that."
Romero hopes that if someone took his son, they will realize that the family only wants him home.
"We just want our kid back," he said Monday. "That is all we want. That is all we want, is to get him back."
adults less likely to be found
While adults are less likely to be reported as missing in the U.S., they are also less likely to be found, according to statistics from the FBI's National Crime Information Center database.
In the last four years, 78 percent of all missing persons recorded have been children.
Of the missing persons recorded since 1975 who have not been found, 55 percent are adults, according to Dec. 31 data.
Help find Romero
Jaime Romero is a Hispanic male, 5-foot-7 and weighing 150 pounds, with close-cropped black hair. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, a dark gray zip-up jacket, blue jeans and white sneakers.
Police ask anyone with information about Romero's whereabouts to call the 5th/6th District Investigative Section at 240-773-6237 or the police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000.