Two Wandering Individuals in Two Days Reunited with Their Families with L.A. Found
Just 9 days after Supervisor Janice Hahn launched L.A. Found– a countywide program to help families find individuals with autism, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease when they wander and go missing– two individuals who wandered away have been reunited with their family using L.A. Found bracelets.
At 5:45 am on September 13, 2018, a 65-year old man went missing from his Altadena home. He suffers from Alzheimer’s and was given a Project Lifesaver tracking bracelet by the L.A. Found program due to his tendency to wander away from his home.
A hiker found the missing man in an Altadena ranch property. He was weak and short of breath and unable to tell the Good Samaritan his name. Fortunately, when the LAPD responded they recognized the LA Found bracelet and contacted the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department with the serial number on the device. The LASD Mental Evaluation Team was able to find the serial number on the Project Lifesaver database and confirm his identity. As a result, the LAPD was able to reunite the missing person with his family.
This morning, September 14, 2018 at 10 am, a 76-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease wearing a Project Lifesaver trackable bracelet provided to her family by L.A. Found went missing in the Huntington Park neighborhood. Her family alerted law enforcement at 4 pm this afternoon at which point the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department dispatched four units with Project Lifesaver receivers as well as deployed the helicopter unit with receiver.
However, shortly after receivers were deployed, the woman was found at the LAPD Newton Station. Although she was unable to identify herself, LAPD officers worked with the LASD to identify the woman based on the serial number on her Project Lifesaver bracelet.
“We launched L.A. Found last week and I am so grateful that it has already helped reunite two wandering individuals with their families,” said Supervisor Hahn. “Remember, if your loved one wanders away and goes missing, call 911 immediately and inform law enforcement if they have a Project Lifesaver bracelet. Do not wait. That person could be a danger to themselves and law enforcement can help you find them quickly.”
While neither of these wandering individuals were located using the L.A. Found tracking devices, law enforcement successfully used what is called “reverse identification,” using the bracelet serial numbers to confirm their identities and reunite them with their families. Without these bracelets, that process could have taken hours.
About L.A. Found
Wandering is a common problem associated with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and autism. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 60% of people with dementia will wander at some point while a study by the Interactive Autism Network found that 49% of children with autism will engage in wandering behavior. While the vast majority of these individuals are recovered, wandering cases can end in tragedy.
L.A. Found aims to find people who wander quickly and reunite them with their families. To learn more about the program and apply for a trackable bracelet, caregivers can visit www.LAFound.com