NEW LONDON — Paige Knobel, a Colchester resident, hasn’t seen or heard from her father, who is the subject of an active silver alert in New London, in well over a month.
That made it especially hard, she said for her to watch the coverage that unfolded as allegation that Anthony “Tony” Todt, who owns Family Physical Therapy in Colchester, killed his wife and three kids surfaced this week. Todt is charged in Florida with four counts of murder.
Knobel’s search is not connected to the Todt case, but Knobel lives down the street from Family Physical Therapy’s Park Avenue location, she said.
The search for her father, Thomas Doolan, 59, who was also born and raised in Colchester, has gotten sporadic press attention . Though it gained some attention around New Year’s week, there have been no new reports in the last couple weeks, an online search indicates.
Knobel last heard from Doolan on Dec. 6, when he called her in what sounded like a highly upset state, according to Knobel, who said Doolan suffers from mental health conditions.
For Knobel’s entire life, Doolan has been consistent about checking in with her, she said, adding that he typically doesn’t go more than two or three days without contacting her.
Doolan had been staying at a sober house at 57 Berkeley Ave. in New London when he went missing, according to his daughter. He left all his belongings at the house, she said, a big red flag—he has always been careful with his things.
Doolan had been sober for 18 months, the longest span of time in Knobel’s memory that her father had been so, she said. “He was very proud of himself.”
It’s out-of-character for Doolan to fall off the map, Knobel said. Even more worrisome is that he missed Christmas and his grandson’s birthday.
Knobel has two sons—one is 6 years old, and the other is about to turn 2 . “They’re his [Doolan’s] whole world,” she said. “He is all about his grandsons, and watching them grow up.”
Knobel tried calling her father every day after Dec. 6, but when he didn’t answer, she assumed he was at the doctor’s, or asleep, or that his phone battery was dead. She got really worried on Dec. 19, when a nurse who knew Doolan called her and said she also had not heard from him, Knobel said.
That was when she asked the police to conduct a wellness check, Knobel said. Afterward they told Knobel they’d been informed that Doolan had moved out of the sober house on Dec. 6.
The next day was Knobel’s son’s birthday, and Doolan wasn’t there.
That was really hard, Knobel said, adding that she reported her father missing to police on Dec. 23.
“He just vanished,” Knobel said.
The New London Police Department issued a silver alert on Dec. 31, its Facebook page indicates.
Knobel spoke highly of her father. He’s funny, she said, and it’s easy for her to talk to him about everything.
“My dad is an awesome person. He’s a pain in the butt sometimes, but he’s got a very big heart.”
The New London Day published a piece about the family’s search for Doolan on Dec. 30, and other outlets posted stories about the silver alert the next day.
But since then there hasn’t been much in the news, and Knobel’s father still hasn’t turned up.
New London police Capt. Brian Wright, who runs the investigative services division, confirmed Thursday that Doolan’s silver alert remains active.
Police posted the alert to social media and contacted the sober house where Doolan had been staying, according to Wright.
Though they got a few leads, nothing panned out, the captain said.
“It’s an unfortunate situation. But we remain vigilant,” Wright said.
Meanwhile, Knobel is not giving up on finding her father.
She organized a search for him set to take place in New London Saturday morning. Some family and a lot of friends planned to attend, she said.
“I hope that we can find him, good or bad,” she said Friday evening. “I’m hopeful that we’ll find him alive but, again good or bad…I just want to have that closure.