The latest example of a Silver Alert success story is the case of a 71-year-old man who went missing in North Bergen, New Jersey and was found four states away in Maine.
The man went missing in North Bergen, New Jersey on February 9, after picking up his car from the mechanic. Rather than drive back to his senior living residence, he got on the interstate and headed north.
According to Aimee Focaraccio, coordinator of local assistance program NB CARES, the North Bergen police contacted her because of her work reaching out to people in need. “What happened was, early Friday morning, one of the women from the senior building, she reported her husband and her car missing,” Focaraccio said. “They had been trying to reach him, calling him all day, and he wasn’t answering his phone.”
A Silver Alert for the man was also issued. That alert focuses mainly on seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other mental disabilities. North Bergen police remained in contact with Maine law enforcement through the ordeal. “The state troopers found him, and he was extremely disoriented,” Focaraccio said. The troopers contacted NBPD, and brought the man to a hospital.
The full story is recounted in the Hudson Reporter.
New Jersey public safety officials issue 3 or 4 Silver Alerts per week. But due to a lack of awareness, many drivers aren’t even sure what they are.
From the report on New Jersey 101.5-FM:
Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, who was a primary sponsor of legislation to create the Silver Alerts, says, “A Silver Alert means there is a missing person that’s believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment – they may not know that they’re missing, they may not know where they are, and we can all help by being on the lookout to spot them…The system isn’t perfect, but it has been helpful in locating some people that went missing.”
On March 2, 2012, a Silver Alert was issued for 77 year old Frank Baldwin. Baldwin went missing in Washington Township, New Jersey and was found safe 30 miles away in Lower Saucon Township, Pennsylvania.
From the article in the Lehigh Valley Express-Times:
A 77-year-old Warren County man was missing for two days before being found Sunday more than 30 miles from home, authorities said.
Authorities issued a Silver Alert — similar to an Amber Alert for missing children, but for elderly people — and received several calls reporting sightings of Baldwin’s brown 2003 Chevrolet Silverado, according to Washington Township police Lt. James Teter.