Following extensive search, Sunset Park resident Jose Manuel Santiago, 67, who goes by the nickname “Che,” who had been missing since around 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday, July 10 was found on Friday, July 13.
The 41st Street resident, who has been diagnosed with dementia, was located at Jamaica Hospital in Queens and was later reunited with his family.
“They found him in Queens. He was knocking on doors,” said District Leader Arelis Martinez. “He didn’t know where he was. He was in bad condition and I think without shoes.”
Family believes he got to Queens via train, she told this paper.
“Someone saw him and called the police and sent him to Jamaica Hospital,” she said. “They put out an announcement that they had a John Doe. The 72nd Precinct called, thinking it was Jose and saw it was him. Deputy Inspector Emmanuel Gonzalez and the precinct did a great job.”
Earlier that day, Gonzalez had been joined by Assemblymember Felix Ortiz, the family of Santiago — who is also diabetic — and others outside the missing man’s apartment asking the public for help.
Jose’s sister Maria Santiago was inside the apartment when he went missing, after an ambulance had been called because he hadn’t been eating and would not get out of bed, and blamed ambulance operators for his disappearance.
“They took him out to go to the ambulance,” she said. “I went inside to get dressed to leave with them. The ambulance people let him go get a coffee — knowing he had dementia.”
His condition has improved since he was found.
“He’s doing okay,” Martinez said. “His condition looks better now but when they found him it seemed like he had walked a lot and looked tired. He seemed disoriented.”