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Finding Robert Baron: Family Makes Appeal for Information

OLD FORGE -- A family from Lackawanna County is desperate for information about their father's disappearance.

Two months have now passed since Robert Baron vanished from the family's pizza restaurant in Old Forge.

Ghigiarelli's Pizza on Main Street in Old Forge has remained closed since Baron was reported missing on January 26.

Now, two months later, his wife, son, and two daughters say they still have very little information about what happened to Robert.

A family missing the center around which they all orbit -- that's how Maria, Nicole, Brittany, and Robert Baron Jr. have felt since late January.

"It's torture," said Nicole Baron. "I feel like someone is killing me but just not finishing the job. I mean, two months feels like it's been two years."

It's been two months since their husband and father, Robert Baron, vanished. Old Forge police believe he disappeared from the pizza restaurant the Baron family has owned since the 1960s.

His wife of more than 30 years says Robert ran the business on a strict routine. He sometimes slept in an apartment above Ghigiarelli's so he could meet the dough delivery at 7 a.m.

"He left around 10:25 that night, January 25, and that was the last time I saw him. My son called me at 9:05 on January 26 and said, 'Mom, do you know where Dad is?' I said, 'What do you mean where is Dad?'" recalled Maria Baron.

"I'd go home at 10:30-11:00 every night since I'm in my mid-teens. The next morning I would see my dad at 8:00 and we would do the dough before we would do anything else," Robert, Jr. added. "That's why I knew something was strange. Even if he had gone somewhere that morning, he would have informed me."

What Robert Baron Jr. found that morning was the dough delivery left at the back door and no sign of his dad.

Police were involved a few hours later. Court papers show that inside Ghigiarelli's they found blood, a tooth, and cleaning supplies. The family restaurant, a fixture of Old Forge's Main Street, has never reopened.

"I've been in it, of course. I mean, I feel like his presence is there, but once I'm in it I feel like, where is he? He's not in his spot he's always in. I just knew all his routines," said Maria.

That's why the family fears whoever is responsible for his disappearance knew Baron's routine, too.

"You don't know who you can trust now," said Robert Baron Jr. "It's a whole different world and my father never could adapt to that way of thinking. I would mention to him numerous times we need to get security cameras in here. He would just kind of brush it off. Of course, you never think something like this is going to happen either."

"There's robberies around here all the time. Not one person gets taken out of their business. I mean, it's wild. It's mind boggling," said Brittany Baron.

In the days and weeks that followed, state police, friends, even strangers scoured Old Forge and surrounding wooded areas.

But now, it's been two months and the Barons only have more questions.

"I feel like he's going to walk in the door and I have dreams about him every couple of nights. He's OK. No one hurt him. We're hoping it's that, but would somebody keep him hostage this long? He would never not pick up the phone if he had a phone to call us. He would never do that to his family," Maria said.

The Barons have a simple appeal to whoever may hold the key to finding Robert Baron.

"This man has a family. You didn't only harm him. You harmed an entire family," Nicole said. "Please have a heart and come forward. Please."

The Barons feel the best thing they can do is increase a reward for information. They've already offered up $10,000 and are raising more through a GoFundMe page.

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