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Ashland senior hasn’t been found

Whatever happened to the search for 86-year-old Harold Hardesty of Ashland, who walked away from his home last April? Was he ever found? He was a former race-car driver and provided classic restored cars for the annual Fourth of July parade in Ashland.

— Kathleen T., Ashland

We’re sad to report that Jackson County Search and Rescue volunteers have yet to find Hardesty, the former NASCAR driver who went missing from his ranch outside Ashland city limits April 10, 2017, according to Jackson County Sheriff’s Sgt. Julie Denney.

Searchers periodically canvas the area surrounding his 20-acre property in the 1200 block of Oak Street, along with Bear Creek, according to Denney, who added that they’re keeping the family in the loop as to where they’re searching next.

So far, their searches have come up empty.

“At this point we’ve exhausted all the leads,” Denney said.

Hardesty, who suffered from dementia, was last seen walking away from his property wearing a white knit hat, black rain jacket with a hood, blue jeans and white shoes. In the months that followed his disappearance, the sheriff’s office used helicopters, airplanes and a drone.

Hardesty drove in nine Grand National races, according to a 2007 story about the restored 1940 gas station he’d installed on his property. His ranch, consisting of a 2-bedroom, 4-bath house and 20 acres of property, was listed in December and currently shows an asking price of $1.5 million.

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