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Missing man has infected scorpion bite on his foot

Michael Mollo is a free spirit ' an artistic type who has always gone his own way, friends and family say.

But from time to time, Mollo takes off without telling loved ones where he's headed. It happened again on July 24, when a trip to the hospital ended with him tearing intravenous tubes from his arms and leaving against a doctor's orders.

That's the last time he was seen, said his mother, Sandi Mollo. Hopefully, he's off making music somewhere.

Mollo's family and Ashland police are asking that anyone with information about the 37-year-old Ashland man's whereabouts phone them.

We respect his path, but we really need to know where he is, said Abby Lewis, Mollo's girlfriend of about 18 months.

— Lewis said before she met Mollo, he had a habit of vanishing when things got rough. His name was put on a national missing-persons database in 1997 when he walked away from an Ashland foster home and didn't return for about two months. Sandi Mollo said at the time that her son lived by the railroad tracks near A Street in Ashland while he was away.

Lewis said Mollo, who previously took medication to combat mental illness, has been dependable throughout their relationship. Things seemed to change last month, when his foot became infected following a scorpion sting.

He just hasn't been Michael, Lewis said. It was behavior I'd never seen before. He was not being rational.

On July 23, he went to Ashland Community Hospital for treatment of the foot. He remained there overnight but left the next day after learning he would have to be hospitalized for a few more days, his mother said.

I think he got scared, said Sandi Mollo. I'm just worried about his foot, that it might flare up and he gets sick. That's what the doctor said could happen.

She and Lewis have pounded the pavement in search of him several times during the past two weeks. Both said homeless people have spotted him in the Ashland area, but so far, police and his loved ones have not been able to find him.

Lewis said her boyfriend left the hospital with nothing but the clothes on his back. Michael Mollo is a guitar player and singer who has been involved with music since he was a child, his mother said. He has also directed plays and writing a book about his life when he vanished.

Sandi Mollo said she hopes her son is out looking for further material for his book.

I like that idea, she said. I think I'll go with that.

Michael Mollo is described as a white male who stands 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs about 140 pounds. He has dark, curly hair and brown eyes. Lewis said he may have a beard by now. He may be limping or hopping because of his foot injury, police said.

Lewis can be contacted at 541-324-7394, while Sandi Mollo can be reached at 541-377-0555. The telephone number for Ashland police is 482-5211.

Reach reporter Jack Moran at 776-4459, or e-mail Missing man has infected scorpion bite on his foot"jmoran@mailtribune.com.