OCEAN CITY – After an early morning missing persons report was filed on his behalf last week, Ocean City Councilman Joe Hall turned up safe, although it remains uncertain just where he was at the time or what he was doing.
Shortly before 2 a.m. last Wednesday, Ocean City police received a call concerning the whereabouts of Hall, who had not been seen or heard from by his wife since earlier on Tuesday.
Ocean City police initiated a missing persons investigation and attempted to contact the councilman to no avail until he reported in safe and sound several hours later.
It’s important to note it isn’t public knowledge where or what a town elected official does in his or her spare time, but a missing persons report filed on a Ocean City councilman certainly raised concerns.
“Obviously, we were concerned,” said OCPD spokesman Mike Levy. “Any time we get a report of a missing person, we take that very seriously.”
Levy said the initial call came in around 1:57 a.m. last Wednesday and set in motion the typical protocol for a missing persons report.
“We investigated it and tried to make contact with him,” said. “He called some time after 4 a.m. and assured us he was okay. We handled it just like we would any other missing person report. After hearing from him that he was okay, the investigation was over from our standpoint.”
For his part, Hall said his wife did not initiate the call, but rather a family friend who was helping her in trying to locate him. Hall said a recent health scare likely heightened his wife’s level of concern.
“Last Tuesday night, I was out of touch with my wife for a period of time and when she expressed concern about my whereabouts, somebody called the Ocean City police on her behalf to have the police look into it,” he said. “About two months ago, I had an incident where I fainted and that only exacerbated her concerns.”
Hall said he talks constantly with his wife throughout the day and when he couldn’t be reached early in the morning, she grew more and more concerned about his well-being. Hall said he was somewhat surprised to learn a search had been initiated.
“Early in the morning, I saw that I had missed calls and a missed message from a police detective,” he said. “I called communications and let them know I was okay, then I called my wife and did the same.”
Hall said the OCPD receives dozens of calls about missing persons and welfare checks.
“My understanding is they responded to me the same way they do everybody else,” he said. “That’s a great thing and something we as taxpayers can be very proud of.”