Nationwide search on for missing Tempe Improv owner - East Valley Tribune: Public Safety

Nationwide search on for missing Tempe Improv owner

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Posted: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 4:03 pm | Updated: 5:01 pm, Sat Aug 4, 2012.

Just days away from closing, the Tempe Improv is without its owner, who is missing and the subject of a nationwide search.

Mark Wilson Anderson, 60, was reported missing by his family on May 15, three days after he left Oklahoma City to travel to Phoenix or Dallas to do business, according to Thomas Martin, a private investigator with Martin Investigative Services of Newport Beach, Calif., who the family hired to look into his disappearance.

Earlier this month, Anderson and other representatives of the Tempe Improv, 930 E. University Drive, announced that the 24-year-old venue would close Friday, June 1.

Martin told the Tribune on Tuesday that his office has been monitoring Anderson’s credit card purchases and phone calls, but there has not been any movement on them since May 15, the day he showed up at a friend’s house in San Diego.

The investigators are focusing their search on the Dallas area, as there have been at least three sightings of Anderson in the Dallas suburb of Carrollton as well as one at Windstar Casino in Oklahoma near the Texas border, Martin said.

There also have been “millions” of tweets on Twitter speculating about Anderson, according to Martin, who said Anderson may be dealing with mental problems.

“Mark believes in a sense, that he’s being chased by demons, and he has a lot of demons,” Martin said. “He’s a loving husband and father to a 2-year-old son. He really doesn’t have any reason to leave.”

Martin said that Anderson has had similar problems in the past.

Owners of the Tempe Improv that presented major comics in the past such as Jerry Seinfeld, George Lopez and David Spade, said the venue is closing due to competition from Standup Live in downtown Phoenix, which now lands all of the major acts coming into the Valley.

However, ComedySchools.com, an independent comedy development and promotional entity that teaches classes of stand-up comedy at the Improv, will re-open in another location in the weeks ahead, according to the school’s director, Tony Vicich.

Anderson has gray hair, brown eyes and glasses and travels between Phoenix and Oklahoma.

He was last seen driving a silver 2011 Dodge Durango SUV with Arizona License Plate No. AWE8050.

Anyone who sees Anderson can call 911 or the Oklahoma City Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit at (405) 297-1129.

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