Phone belonging to New Bedford man missing since May is found in motel room

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WLNE) – The search continues for a New Bedford man who’s been missing since May, and this week his family learned his phone has been found in a local motel.

Henry Fermino, 61, was reported missing by his sister on May 19.

“He doesn’t miss birthdays, holidays he calls,” said Trina Cardoza, Fermino’s sister. “Mother’s Day came, he didn’t text me or my sister. We found that kind of weird ’cause that’s not… he doesn’t miss a holiday or birthday, nothing, and then he didn’t text his son for his birthday.”

Fermino also missed his own birthday, she said.

“We had been calling and calling and calling his phone and he wasn’t answering. His birthday was the 19th of May. It just was eating at me, and I had to…something wasn’t right. I had to file a missing person’s report.”

Detectives pinged his cell phone and it led them to a wooded area between Cross Road and Reed Road in Dartmouth.

On July 7, members of the Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (SEMLEC) Search and Rescue Unit conducted a large-scale search in the area for Fermino, but he wasn’t found.

“He would call. He would call someone and say, I’m fine, and he hasn’t. He hasn’t popped up, and Henry is a pop-up guy. He’d pop up anywhere and he hasn’t done that,” Cardoza said.

He was last known to be at the Capri Motel on State Road in Dartmouth, which sits in between Cross Road and Reed Road where the search was conducted.

Capri Motel

Cardoza said a family friend stopped by the motel on Monday and was told by staff that they found Fermino’s phone in the room he was staying in. It had been sitting at the front desk.

“It was there. It was in the room where he stayed. I guess the maintenance guy, whoever does the cleaning and stuff, had found it. They put his name on it and brought it to the office, put it in a bag, and left it there but…nobody said anything till now,” Cardoza said. “The Dartmouth police have been there, New Bedford police been there…why haven’t they said anything?”

She said she doesn’t know what her brother was doing at the motel, just that he had stayed there a few days.

“I have no clue what was going on with him, what he was doing…I know he was there from the 8th to the 10th. From the 10th on, I don’t know where he’s at, where he went, who he’s with.”

Fermino was well known in the community, his sister said, as he worked at various local restaurants and drove a cab for years. She said most recently he was working at Knuckleheads Bar & Grill in New Bedford.

She said the family just wants to know that he’s OK, and even though it’s been two months since they’ve heard from him, they’re holding onto hope that he’ll be found.

“We just all want closure. His kids want to know, my sister, my brother, we all want to know where he’s at.”

If anyone has information on Fermino’s whereabouts, they are urged to call either the New Bedford Police Department or the Dartmouth Police Department.

WLNE-TV 2021

Categories: Massachusetts, New Bedford, News, Regional News