Dennis Day, original Mouseketeer from Disney's Mickey Mouse Club, has been missing for 7 months

 

A man who starred in Disney's original Mickey Mouse Club vanished in July 2018 and hasn't been seen since, according to Oregon police.

Dennis Day, 76, was cast as a Mouseketeer in 1955, when he was 12 years old. Six years later, at 18, he left his family's southern California home to start his adult life in San Francisco. His family accepted him as gay, his sister recently told NBC News, but he wanted to live in a more gay-friendly environment. Day fell in love with a man named Ernest Caswell and they moved to Oregon. The two, now married, have been together for more than 45 years.

Today, Caswell lives in assisted care and suffers from dementia-related memory issues. On the day that his husband disappeared, Caswell suffered a fall that left him hospitalized, according to USA Today. Police reportedly said that a roommate who was living with the couple claimed Day left on foot to go see friends.

However, none of Day's friends or family had any idea that he was even missing until January 2019, when a local Oregon TV station reported on the disappearance.

"He was alert, he was healthy, he was fine," Day's sister, Nelda Adkins, told USA Today of the last time she saw him, which was in summer 2017. "[Police] are trying to portray him as a reclusive, demented person, but in one year's time you can't become that way."

PHOTOS: The Mickey Mouse Club through the years. (Dennis Day is in the far right corner of the group photo on slide 1.)

14 PHOTOS
'Mickey Mouse Club' Mouseketeers through the years
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'Mickey Mouse Club' Mouseketeers through the years
The original cast of 'The Mickey Mouse Club.'
Another snapshot of the original cast.
Studio portrait of original Mouseketeer Annette Funicello, who started on the show at age 12.
Original Mouseketeer Annette Funicello at age 16.
Jimmie Dodd, one of the adult co-hosts of 'The Mickey Mouse Club.'
Annette at her dressing table. 
Annette Funicello and Jimmie Dodd on set.
Annette Funicello at age 16.
Justin Timberlake was a Mouseketeer on 'The New Mickey Mouse Club.'
Britney Spears was a Mouseketeer on 'The New Mickey Mouse Club.'
Ryan Gosling was a Mouseketeer on 'The New Mickey Mouse Club.'
Christina Aguilera was a Mouseketeer on 'The New Mickey Mouse Club.'
Keri Russell was a Mouseketeer on 'The New Mickey Mouse Club.'
JC Chasez was a Mouseketeer on 'The New Mickey Mouse Club.'
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Day's car was found 200 miles away from his Phoenix, Oregon home in the possession of a man and a woman. They claimed that Day had let them borrow it.

None of Day's credit cards or banking accounts have been used since his disappearance, but an unnamed roommate who was living with Day and his husband was able to provide his debit card.

One of Adkins' theories is that Day could have had a serious emotional reaction after his husband's injury: "After Ernie fell, they called an ambulance to take him to the hospital and that could have set my brother off," she said. "He could have committed suicide. And Oregon is full of rivers."

Even with that as a possibility, she said, "he's not the type of person who would just disappear. Especially with his significant other being in the hospital -- he was very dedicated to him ... He left his dog and his cat behind, too -- he loved them dearly, just like children."

Information on the circumstances surrounding Dennis Day’s disappearance should be reported to Lt. Jeff Price of the Phoenix Police Department at 541-535-1113, ext. 309. The anonymous tip line is at 1-888-960-6450. 

42 PHOTOS
Annette Funicello through her life
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Annette Funicello through her life
Annette Funicello and Jimmie Dodd on 'The Mickey Mouse Club' television show, Hollywod, California, May 1956. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
American actress Annette Funicello on a Schwinn Bicycle, 1956. She is wearing a sash reading 'Bicycle Queen of 1953'. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
American actress and singer Annette Funicello (1942 - 2013), a Mouseketeer of the 'Mickey Mouse Club', poses with a dog, circa 1958. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 3: Annette Funicello portrays Gina Minelli in the television program, Make Room for Daddy. Image dated January 3, 1959. Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
AMERICAN BANDSTAND - 'Annette Funicello and Bobby Darin' - Airdate January 10, 1959. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) ANNETTE FUNICELLO;BOBBY DARIN
(Original Caption) Annette Funicello shows off the beauty that the viewers have seen blossoming on their TV screens for the past four years. Now a sweet 16, Annette is the star of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Club series, where she started as a dimpled 12-yr-old. The five foot two inch brunette can't wait to grow up. She says ' I should be ready to play romantic parts by the time I'm 17.'
circa 1955: Portrait of American actor and Mickey Mouseketeer Annette Funicello smiling while standing by a pool and holding a stuffed tiger toy, California. Funicello wears a striped button-down shirt and black short shorts. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Portrait of American actress Annette Funicello (1942 - 2013) as she poses against an orange background, early to mid 1960s. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
circa 1965: Headshot portrait of American actor and singer Annette Funicello lifting up her sunglasses and smiling, 1960s. She wears a blouse with peacock plume pattern. Her sunglasses have one square and one circular lens. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Portrait of American actress Annette Funicello (1942 - 2013) as she poses in a brown blouse with red, print flowers, early 1960s. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Portrait of American actress Annette Funicello (1942 - 2013) in a red pantsuit with white ruffles, as she sits in a chair, one hand on her chin, in front of a white background, 1960s. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
COKE TIME - Airdate June 11, 1960. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) ANNETTE FUNICELLO
American actors Tommy Sands, as Tom Piper, and Annette Funicello (1942 - 2013) as Mary Contrary, in 'Babes in Toyland', directed by Jack Donohue, 1961. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
4/17/1961-Hollywood, CA: Actress Shirley Temple Black- presents Oscar to Annette Funicello during the Award Ceremonies.
American actress and singer Annette Funicello (1942 - 2013), circa 1962. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
1963, Promotional portrait of American actors Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon for the film 'Beach Party' directed by William Asher. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Actress Annette Funicello (L) is shown outside of the St. Cyril's church after her daughter was baptized Gina Luree 11/21. Singer Frankie Avalon (C) acted as the Godfather while Marine Ann Schicchi (holding Gina) served as godmother. The proud father, Jack Gilardi, is shown on the right.
9th January 1965: American actor and singer Annette Funicello smiles while dancing with her husband, agent Jack Gilardi, at their wedding reception. She wears a wedding dress with a bridal veil. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Actress Annette Funicello in a scene from the movie 'Fireball 500' (Photo by Donaldson Collection/Getty Images)
MALIBU U. - Shoot Date: June 28, 1967. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) ANNETTE FUNICELLO
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Anette Funicello Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
(Original Caption) Actress Annette Funicello cuddles her newborn son, Jack, Jr., at St. Joseph's Hospital. looking on is the proud father, Jack Gilardi, and their daughter, Gina, 4.
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Anette Funicello Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Anette Funicello Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Anette Funicello Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE - 'Love and the Accidental passion/Love and the Black Limousine/Love and the Eskimo's Wife/Love and the Tuba' - Airdate December 3, 1971. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) FRANKIE AVALON;ANNETTE FUNICELLO
THE BIG EVENT -- 'Dick Clark's Good Ol' Days: From Bobby Sox to Bikinis' -- Pictured: (l-r) Annette Funicello, Frankie Avalon (Photo by Frank Carroll/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
FANTASY ISLAND - 'Jungle Man / Mary Ann and Miss Sophisticate' - Airdate: March 8, 1980. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) ANNETTE FUNICELLO
Actor Annette Funicello attends 33rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on September 13, 1981 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
John Forsythe and Annette Funicello (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
GROWING PAINS - 'The Seavers vs. The Cleavers' - Airdate: January 28, 1986. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) ANNETTE FUNICELLO
Actress Annette Funicello attends the press conference for 'Back To The Beach' on July 28, 1987 at the World Trade Center in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
THOUSAND OAKS, CA - 1988: Actress and former Disney Mousketeer, Annette Funicello, poses during a 1988 Thousand Oaks, California, photo portrait session. Star of such films as 'The Shaggy Dog,' 'Beach Party,' and 'Beach Blanket Bingo,' the actor and singer suffers from multiple sclerosis. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
Actress Annette Funicello and husband Glen Holt attend Sixth Annual American Cinema Awards on January 6, 1989 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Actress Annette Funicello attends Frankie Avalon Tour Kick-Off Concert on April 13, 1990 at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
FULL HOUSE - 'Joey Goes Hollywood' - Airdate: March 29, 1991. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)ANNETTE FUNICELLO;FRANKIE AVALON
Michael Eisner, Mickey Mouse, and Annette Funicello (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
Actress Annette Funicello attends Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony Gala on September 14, 1993 at the Hollywood Yacht Club in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Actress Annette Funicello sighted on May 5, 1994 at the Regency Hotel in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 4: A photo session featuring, from left, Annette Funicello and Eva La Rue from the set of the made-for TV movie, A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: The Annette Funicello Story. Image dated September 4, 1995. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES - JUNE 15: Annette Funicello Dolls Show at Universal Sheraton. (Photo by Mirek Towski/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Actress Annette Funicello at a tribute event. (Photo by Mirek Towski/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
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