Biloxi Police Find Missing Alzheimer's Patient - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/29/04

Biloxi Police Find Missing Alzheimer's Patient

A police officer got on his radio and shared the information he obtained about Rochelle Abram.

"The last time he was seen was about 5:00 yesterday afternoon near the Beau Rivage on Highway 90," the officer said.

Biloxi investigator Susan Kimball used that information to map out a search pattern for 87 year old man with Alzheimer's. That area stretched from Division Street to Highway 90. And it included the entire downtown Biloxi area.

During the door-to-door search, officers handed out pictures of Mr. Abram. Because of one of those pictures, a businessman remembered seeing the elderly man.

"They said he was obviously confused and disoriented," an officer radioed to Kimball.

"So now what we're doing is trying to cover some of the back road and off the beaten path areas," she said, as she drove around the search perimeter.

Kimball got out of her car at Esters Boulevard. That's where she met Lt. Alan Bond.

"He left his house yesterday," Bond learned, "and we know he got up to Action Auto right there."

Abram had been missing for 24 hours. "Our main concern is to get him home safely, and find out where he might have went to," investigator Kimball said.

Abram is in the early stages of Alzheimer's. So Biloxi had every available investigator out searching for him.

"Let's get out and try to find him," said the lieutenant.

Less than 10 seconds after giving that order, the call everybody wanted to hear came over police radios.

"They got him," an officer said.

Kimball got on her radio.

"202 Biloxi. 108 is with me, he has been notified. We're in route to McDonald's," she said.

A dazed 87 year old sat on some bricks next to the Main Street McDonald's. That's where patrolman Robert Jolly found him.

"I just saw him sitting there," the officer said. "And it looked like he was a little disoriented."

Abram told police he spent the last 24 hours wandering around the city, unsure of his whereabouts.

As an ambulance approached, and the Alzheimer's patient drank water, the lead investigator called his family.

"He's here. He's okay," she told his daughter.

Within minutes, police reunited Abram and his family.

"I'm very relieved," his daughter Emma Mitchell said. "I've been worried. I rode around all night looking for him. He seems to be okay."

While the family hugged, investigator Kimball smiled.

"This is the way we like to see them end. This is the way we like to see them all end," she said.

by Brad Kessie

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