Family of missing Lawrenceville man hires P.I. after failed search efforts

Investigators in Habersham County are searching for a Lawrenceville man they say has not been heard from since January. According to authorities, 65-year-old Joel Rosenbaum was last seen leaving the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office. From there, he walked to a nearby convenience store and then seemingly disappeared.

"It’s odd, because he didn’t have anything with him," private investigator TJ Ward told FOX 5. "He left the sheriff’s office and walked toward downtown and hasn’t been seen since."

It is an odd case, Ward said, and it has hit a brick wall since loved ones of the well-liked bartender reported him missing on January 26. With more questions than answers, they hired him to look into Rosenbaum’s disappearance in the town he had no known ties to.

"They have no idea why he drove north toward Clarkesville," Ward said.

According to the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office, deputies booked Rosenbaum on a DUI charge after his car ran off the road on Georgia Highway 365 on January 25.

"From his condition, the way he was driving, they assumed he was under the influence…he didn’t even drink," Ward stated.

Family members told Ward that Rosenbaum showed signs of dementia in recent months.

"Their concerns are…is he alive or is he deceased? I mean, they want to find that out…any family member or any friend would want to know that," Ward said.

So far, there have not been any leads in the missing person’s case. In February, a search party canvassed the Clarkesville and Tallulah Falls areas, but did not find anything. A second search in Clayton, Georgia after a reported sighting was also a dead end.

"It probably would’ve been a little bit easier if he had a cell phone with him or a wallet with him," Ward explained. 

The private investigator told FOX 5 he is meeting with detectives on Thursday to go over the evidence they have collected so far. Rosenbaum’s loved ones are offering a $10,000 reward for information that will help find him.

Rosenbaum is 5-feet-6 and about 150 pounds. He was last seen wearing a gray and red Falcons shirt, black pants, and white tennis shoes. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office.