Archive for Saturday, June 6, 2009

Missing Jefferson County man found in Minnesota

June 6, 2009


An 85-year-old Jefferson County man who was reported missing early Friday morning has been found unharmed in Duluth, Minn., Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Herrig said.

Family members of Wayne "Red" Becker, of Meriden, had alerted sheriff's officials Friday that they were unable to find Becker after he was last seen around 1 a.m. Friday in Shawnee County. But a Minnesota state trooper found Becker more than 500 miles from his home Friday night, Herrig said.

The sheriff's office had sent out a nationwide alert that included Becker's vehicle description.

Family members had told sheriff's officers Becker had been acting disoriented and confused, and Herrig said apparently Becker thought he was in Meriden when he was in Minnesota.

The family left Friday night to pick him up.

"We're glad he is safe. It was tough on the family," Herrig said.


RoeDapple 8 years, 11 months ago

Road trip!!!!

Glad he's safe...........

bearded_gnome 8 years, 11 months ago

I'm so glad he's okay.

however, this illustrates what I've been writing, along with others: start testing elders and make them demonstrate driving safety when over age 65! for their own safety and others'!

wonder where he was in Minesota/Duluth... Multi I also wondered about the IHOP, had that happen this area recently. damned IHOP, tempting these seniors away from their home turf.

SusieCreamcheeze 8 years, 11 months ago

Sorry...ability???..drivers test??? ....He drove over 500 miles with out any problem...sounds like he is a good driver to me. Perhaps he needs a little more family involvement . How will Multi get to Lawrence when she is 65...hitchike..LOL I am going to be 60 in Oct and don't intend to give up driving anytime soon... Perhaps folks who don't drive should be more careful whom they are calling ELDERS!!!!

John Spencer 8 years, 11 months ago

Ganted, "He" made it to Minnesota, but how long was his left blinker on and how many cars were run off the road by him?

Confrontation 8 years, 11 months ago

"Family members had told sheriff's officers Becker had been acting disoriented and confused"

Yeah, so go ahead and let him drive. Makes a whole lot of sense!

RoeDapple 8 years, 11 months ago

Didn't a "disoriented and confused” man get tasered to death last year in Topeka?

gccs14r 8 years, 11 months ago

Heck, I think everyone should have to re-take the practical every 10 years or so, and not the pud drive-around-the-block test, either. The examiner should show up at your house about an hour before dusk, tell you to drive to one major landmark in another city via another major landmark (such as driving to Westridge Mall via downtown Topeka), then have you drive back home. That demonstrates both city and highway driving, navigation, and the ability to drive at night. If you can't do all of those things, then it's time for refresher training or time to give up driving.

George_Braziller 8 years, 11 months ago

My dad had Pick's Dementia and made a shorter version of a trip like that. He could drive around my home town with a population of 600 and do fine. Pick's destroys the long term memory but maintains things you're exposed to every day.

He'd drive his pickup to the post office (which was only two blocks away) to get the mail. One time my mom went on a business trip and had an attendant come into the house to make him dinner and make sure he got into bed. One evening the long term memory kicked in.

His routine was to just "drive the truck" and usually it was around town. That night he went back to his old stomping grounds around Salina, Bavaria, and Brookville which is about 60 miles away. After four hours, frantic calls and sheriffs in three counties he was found.

Thank God he didn't kill anyone. He did manage to maneuver highways and interstate. The only reason he was pulled over was for driving the wrong direction on a one-way street in Salina.

Mom sold his truck a week later and bought one a different color so he wouldn't recognize it.

May you all never have to deal with a parent with any form of dementia. I can tell you first hand it's horrible to watch a slow mental death of a previously, vital and talented man.

Christine Anderson 8 years, 11 months ago

My cousins and uncle had to take our grandfather's keys away when he was about 85. Grandpa Carl would park on the wrong side of the street in our little town of about 1000 people. Police never bothered to ticket him. ( Heck, there was only one police officer) He lived on the family farm three miles out of town. The situation became a crisis when the farm machinery began PASSING grandpa on the highway!! Yes, it's okay to laugh. So, after my uncle confiscated the keys, grandpa would just take one of the tractors instead. He preferred the John Deere for driving into town when my uncle wasn't looking, and the Allis-Chalmers for going down into the woods onto the adjacent property. Our family was indeed very concerned when grandpa started losing his ability to drive safely. But, it's not always as easy as it may sound to take away an elder's right to do something. Especially when they are 100 % stubborn Norweigan!

jonas_opines 8 years, 11 months ago

All I can say is that if I ever randomly go tripping off somewhere, you'll find me somewhere with a better climate than Minnesota.

kateku 8 years, 11 months ago

It's sad isn't George... Dementia is really sad when a person forgets their loved ones and become belligerent...

bearded_gnome 8 years, 11 months ago

Multi and monkeys, LOL!

Susie, did I strike a nerve?

George, that was an especially moving story.

dementia is very hard on the close relatives. you want to keep as much autonomy for the person, but they're not so safe, don't remember important things, can't be counted on anymore. you tell them something, and you don't know if he or she is ignoring you, refusing, or has just lost what you told him or her. you might have to explain something many times. you leave the house, you don't know what to expect when you return.

Christine Anderson 8 years, 11 months ago

Hey Jonas, the climate in Mn is a hell of a lot more comfortable this time of year than Ks!! Just make sure you have plenty of insect repellent on, and you're good to go. No insulting the state where I was born!!! (ha,ha) This is one of those things that I have to laugh at, only because it turned out well. If Mr. Becker had gone even a few miles further, he would have been stopped by U.S.- Canadian border guards!

George_Braziller 8 years, 11 months ago

Gnome - On a lighter note about "don't know what to expect when you return." After my dad retired from full-blown construction and carpentry he started working on his first love which was building furniture. He wasn't quite old enough yet to get his social security so he took a job at the local nursing home as the facility manager.

He was quite the conversationalist and all the CNAs just loved him. Some how, one day the topic of smoking pot came up and he said he had never tried it.

Long story short. One of the CNAs gave him a joint. He went home and smoked the entire thing like a cigarette. My mom came home and found him sprawled on the living room floor completely stoned out of his mind. She thought he'd had a stroke! Wish I could have been there.

The vision of my exteremely conservative, at that time 62 year old, father wanting to chow down on a bag of nacho Dorito's because he had the munchies still makes me smile. That's the man I want to remember.

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