A missing 78-year-old San Angelo man suffering from dementia was located early Wednesday morning by San Angelo Police Department Officer Z. Villarreal, who spotted the man’s vehicle traveling in the 100 block of South Abe Street. The man, who was disoriented, was unharmed and reunited with his family after being missing for more than 12 hours.
Because of the circumstances surrounding the man’s disappearance, SAPD Det. Jeremy Cannady applied for a Silver Alert through the Texas Department of Public Safety, which requires that specific criteria be met before an alert can be authorized.
Texas Department of Public Safety Silver Alert activation criteria includes:
- The missing person must be 65 years of age or older;
- The senior citizen must be diagnosed with an impaired mental condition and the senior citizen’s disappearance poses a credible threat to their health and safety. (Required documentation, such as a letter from the senior’s medical or mental health provider);
- Confirmation that an investigation has taken place verifying the senior’s disappearance is due to his/her impaired mental condition and alternative reasons for their disappearance have been ruled out;
- The request for the Silver Alert is being made within 72 hours of their disappearance; and
- Local law enforcement has sufficient information available to disseminate to the public that could assist in locating the senior citizen.
The SAPD said in a press release that although this particular story had a happy ending, they advise families and caregivers of seniors who are diagnosed with any impaired mental conditions to have the following items on hand so law enforcement can expedite the Silver Alert application process:
- Keep a recent, close-up photo of the senior and his/her medication specifically prescribed to treat the impairment; and
- Updated medical information, such as a diagnosis from the senior’s medical or mental health provider on the provider’s official letterhead.