In his 15 years at Mercy Hospital, Dr. John Forsyth never missed a shift without letting someone know. The 49-year-old emergency medicine physician even parked his luxury RV outside of the Cassville, Missouri, hospital so he would always be steps away from his patients.
So when Forsyth did not show up for his 7 p.m. ER shift on May 21, alarm bells immediately went off. When his colleagues couldn’t reach the father of seven, they got worried and alerted authorities, a hospital spokesperson said.
“He wouldn’t miss a shift even if his eyeballs were hanging out of their sockets,” Forsyth’s younger brother, Richard Forsyth, told The Daily Beast. “It was an immediate red flag.”
And the red flags kept coming. Authorities found Forsyth’s black Infiniti sedan parked at the Cassville Aquatic Park, less than a mile away from the hospital, on Sunday afternoon.
Inside the unlocked car, police found Forsyth’s wallet, passport, and work briefcase, his brother said.
“John’s RV was found unlocked [at the hospital], which is very uncharacteristic,” he said. “His cellphones were inside, which is also very uncharacteristic because he always has his cellphone.”
The next day, Cassville Police Department searched the 90-acre park with the assistance of over a dozen different agencies. But investigators did not find the doctor—who also moonlights as a cryptocurrency creator—or any evidence, according to police.
It has now been a week since Forsyth vanished—and authorities are scrambling to find answers in the case that has shocked the small Missouri town about an hour outside of Springfield.
The Missouri State Patrol confirmed to The Daily Beast that it is assisting in the case but that local authorities are still in charge.
“My dad is a very logical person and I kind of tend to be that way as well,” Forsyth’s 23-year-old son, J.R. Forsyth, told The Daily Beast. “And I can’t think of any logical conclusion as to why he would just vanish like this.”
The last time J.R. spoke with his father, whom he described as a “loving” person whose main hobby is mathematics, was about a month ago. During the call, J.R. said he told his father that he was “grateful for everything he had done.”
“I just wanted to let him know that he was a big influence on me and I was thankful for everything he had done,” he said, admitting that it was a random call after a very hard semester in school.
After the “heart-to-heart,” J.R. said he was not initially worried after he did not hear from his father again. Especially since J.R. was planning to see him this weekend in Utah and he knew that Forsyth was “insanely busy” with work and the crypto company he ran with his brother.
Forsyth had been into cryptocurrency for over a decade and spent most of his downtime trying to determine how to make the digital currency beneficial to society.
Richard added that sometimes their shared passion got them into trouble online, including one “hacker battle with some internet dude.” “We’ve made some enemies,” he added.
But Forsyth’s family admitted that it did not seem like crypto on the doctor’s mind as he prepared for his trip to see several of his family members—including his eldest daughter, who had just completed her Mormon mission in Provo, Utah.
“He seemed very excited to come out,” J.R. added. “We were all looking forward to seeing him and being together again.”
Forsyth’s son, however, did not know that his dad was also coming with news of his own.
Richard said that Forsyth had recently gotten engaged, just days after his divorce from J.R.’s mother was finalized earlier this month. (Forsyth’s fiancée did not respond to a request for comment. J.R. said that he first learned about the engagement two days after his father went missing.)
The last time he saw Forsyth, Richard added, was at a nearly two-hour dinner just last week.
“He seemed really happy and excited,” Richard said, adding that most of the dinner conversation was focused on math. Still, he saw no indication that Forsyth was anxious or preoccupied.
“Nothing seemed weird,” he added. “Which makes John vanishing that much weirder.”
While police have not publicly revealed details of Forsyth’s investigation, Richard said his family has some insight into his brother’s movements on Sunday after his morning shift at the hospital.
“His fiancée was texting him around 7 a.m… and as he was leaving he was texting her things like ‘Hey, my shift’s over’ and ‘I’ll see you a little bit later,’” Richard said. “And then minutes later, he stops responding to text messages and is seen walking toward his RV.”
A little while later security footage shows Forsyth’s car pulling into the aquatic park parking lot. A white SUV showed up a few minutes later and parked near him, Richard said. “It leaves a few minutes later and [John] is seen walking around maybe 10 to 15 minutes after that,” Richard said police told him. “And then he walks away from his car.”
Richard said authorities discovered Forsyth’s Infiniti at the park on Sunday afternoon “in a very hidden location, in a place where it seems like cars are not supposed to go.” He added that police told him the car was partially hidden by a gate and a pile of wood.
Where the doctor went afterward remains a mystery that has evoked panic and sympathy among the Missouri community. Since Monday, dozens of residents have taken to Facebook to recount their experiences with Forsyth and encourage the police to continue their search.
“He just treated me 3 weeks ago for strep, I was miserable,” one Facebook user wrote on Thursday. “He went above and beyond and just had the best attitude and bedside manners.”
“He’s very respected and our community is so worried. We are willing to do anything to help, it’s only right after all he’s done for so many of us. Please come home safe Dr Forsyth we all need you!”
Forsyth’s family has since created a Facebook page dedicated to spreading the news about any updates in the case and urging the public to send in tips. J.R. said that his family is optimistic that Forsyth will be found soon. For now, he has a message for his father.
“I think the biggest thing I want to say to him is that I love him and I would do just about anything to see him again and talk to him again,” he said. “All of my family, I think we were all just giving about anything to see him one more time.”