As police scale back the search for missing legendary artist and photographer Peter Beard, and his daughter pleads for help to find him — friends are still clinging to hope that he’d wandered off from his Hamptons to meet one of his bohemian friends.
Longtime Warhol friend, Studio 54 fixture and famed African wildlife photographer Peter, 82, disappeared on Tuesday afternoon from his home in Montauk, sparking an exhaustive search by police.
Law enforcement and K-9 units have been conducting exhaustive door-to-door searches, while helicopters and drones had been scanning the coastline to look for the artist, who suffers from dementia.
His daughter Zara wrote on Instagram on Friday, “I know this is the most difficult time, amidst a pandemic, to ask for your help … but my father is out there somewhere, missing. He is strong but the nights have been cold and he has a heart condition and I am afraid that as every minute passes by so does the hope that he is able to survive … I know he is out there, and with your help we can bring him home … It is just in our hands now.”
One source close to Beard said, “Peter has always been a wanderer, and his closest friends are holding out the hope that he has just gone on another joyride with one of his friends, and that he’ll reappear in the next few days.”
A second source said his wife since 1986, Nejma, has tolerated Peter’s revelry for years. In 2017 associates and family members testified in depositions during a court case that Nejma had Peter put in a psych ward after he returned to their apartment at 6a.m. with two alleged prostitutes. “A few years ago, if Peter disappeared for a few days, you’d assume he’d just gone on a big bender,” said the friend.
On Friday local cops said they’d scaled back the search for Beard after an exhaustive search. East Hampton Town Police Capt. Chris Anderson said on Friday, “Certainly, as the hours turn to days the likelihood of a successful outcome diminishes.”
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