No leads after air search for missing Perinton couple along lakeshore

Robert and Mary Ross.jpg
A missing persons' report was filed on February 5 for Robert Ross, 73, and his wife Mary Ross, 72. (Photo: Provided)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - Investigators from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and New York State Police searched by air and ground for a missing Perinton couple on Friday. The search is expected to expand over the weekend.

On Friday morning, a New York State Police helicopter was launched in the area of Lake Avenue in Charlotte to look for any clues related to Robert and Mary Ross' disappearance. The team on board the chopper did not find anything of note in the search. According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, the air search included areas along the Genesee River and Lake Ontario shoreline.

Drones were launched to search for the couple, as well.

Robert, 73, showed up for a medical appointment on January 30, but has not been seen since then. Investigators said he did not show up for subsequent medical appointments. Family members tell 13WHAM News Robert has stage four brain cancer, so they are quite concerned.

Robert's wife Mary, 72, has not had contact with anyone since January 29. The only evidence they have in this case is a ping from her cell phone, which came from the Ontario Beach area in Charlotte.

Deputies contacted Ross' son, who lives outside the Rochester area, and subsequently began a missing persons investigation.

“Where did they go? You don’t know. Did they go over the bridge? You just don’t know,” said Robert Ross, Jr.

Robert is described as 6' tall and weighing 200 lbs. He is bald and has brown eyes.

Mary is described as 5'4" tall and weighing 160 lbs. She has brown hair and brown eyes.

They drive a white 2017 Kia Sorrento, with the New York license plate that reads 'BLUSTERY.'

Deputies were notified Monday of the missing couple and immediately started looking for the couple.

"Looking at activity with bank records, following up on cell phone pings," explained Captain Sam Bell of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

But the public wasn't alerted in the crucial hours after the couple was reported missing.

"I've already talked to the investigating officers and we will do that in the future," said Sheriff Todd Baxter. "We will get that information out."

Sheriff Baxter says he's working on building better partnerships between the Sheriff's Office and the public, as well as the media - especially with missing persons cases.

"I think there are things that we can always improve, and I just look at this as one," he said.

Although Robert Ross has brain cancer, Baxter says the Rosses were not considered to be in imminent danger, so a statewide alert was not issued.

Around 10 a.m. Friday, a New York State Police helicopter was launched in the area of Lake Avenue in Charlotte to look for any traces of evidence in the couple's disappearance. The air search went along the Genesee River and Lake Ontario shoreline.

Jeffrey Scott manages Mom's Margio's diner off the pier in Charlotte - just feet away from where the couple's phone last pinged.

"Now we start looking around, see if we see something suspicious," said Scott.

"We are at the water, and right now it's cold," he added. "If they are here, it's going to be hard to find."

As of Friday evening, deputies said they were exploring leads, adding added there would be a deputy on the case 24/7.

Anyone with information about the Rosses should contact 911.