ST. LOUIS — Philanthropist and builder I.E. Millstone is missing, family members say, and authorities are investigating whether he was a man seen jumping from a Missouri River bridge.
Millstone, 102, of Ladue, went missing Saturday, the same day the Missouri State Highway Patrol said a witness reported seeing an elderly man jump off the Daniel Boone Bridge in the St. Louis area. A vehicle belonging to a caretaker of Millstone was found nearby, Sgt. Al Nothum, a spokesman for the Highway Patrol, said.
Crews had searched the river Saturday but found nothing. The Missouri State Water Patrol said it resumed the search Sunday morning.
Nothum said that without a body, authorities could not determine for certain that it was Millstone whom the witness saw jumping.
"It may well be him, but we just are being cautious," Nothum said.
Beth Millstone Roman, a niece of I.E. Millstone, issued a statement on behalf of the family to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"I.E. Millstone is extremely loved by his family. We are not sure what is happening. We are still hoping for the best," the statement said.
When Millstone graduated with an engineering degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1927, he already was a successful businessman with his own construction company.
Millstone's company, now St. Charles-based Millstone Bangert, built dozens of St. Louis landmarks, including the old Busch Stadium and the original double-decker Highway 40 through downtown.
He spoke on May 3 at the grand opening of the Staenberg Family Complex at the Jewish Community Center, near Creve Coeur.
Rabbi Howard Kaplansky of United Hebrew Congregation in Chesterfield, where Millstone was a member, told the Post-Dispatch that Millstone appeared healthy and upbeat at the event.
"He was very cogent; people were riveted."
Kaplansky said Millstone's construction reach was international.
"World leaders sought his counsel," Kaplansky said. "Golda Meir (the former prime minister of Israel) brought him to Israel to consult on public housing."
Millstone's first wife, Goldie; his second wife, Helen; and his two children are dead.