Friends, family search for Jim Dugan



The flyer friends and family of the missing Jim Dugan have been posting around town.
  • The flyer friends and family of the missing Jim Dugan have been posting around town.

For the past week, friends and family of James "Jim" Dugan have been tirelessly searching for the 42-year-old, who went missing at around 4 a.m. March 22. He was last seen sitting on a Mississippi River dock between Chartres and Alvar Streets in the Bywater, which collapsed and sent him into the water.

Friends of Dugan say the last person who saw him was his friend Kelly Welberg. According to Sarah Ravits, one of the friends, Welberg says she and Dugan were sitting on the pier when it collapsed. Welberg was able to make it out of the water safely, but she told Ravits she was too intoxicated to remember if Dugan was also able to get out. He didn't show up for his shift Tuesday at the Le Meritage restaurant at the Maison Dupuy hotel, where he was working as a waiter at the time.

The NOPD released a missing persons statement March 24. WDSU reported yesterday that the NOPD asked the Houston, Texas-based volunteer search-and-rescue team EquuSearch to help find Dugan. WDSU says EquuSearch started working this morning.

There has been some confusion over whether the 5th District police or the Coast Guard has purview over the area, and because of that friends and family say they have had a hard time getting answers from the police. Many of them have taken the search into their own hands, hanging up flyers around town, searching the area around the pier and frequently updating the Help Find Jim Dugan! Facebook group with developments.

Dugan is a 42-year-old white male who is 6-feet-tall with a slender build. He has tattoos and on both arms, and one saying "We the People" on his stomach. Ravits says he had a scruffy beard at the time of his disappearance and several noticeable facial scratches from a bike fall he took a few weeks ago. A former attorney, Dugan also has a young daughter.

"He was just one of those guys who knew everyone," Ravits says.

Anyone with any information about Dugan's whereabouts should call the New Orleans Police Department’s non emergency line at 821-2222.

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