Search continues for missing Northwest Indiana man with Alzheimer’s
PORTER COUNTY, Ind. — As bitter cold is set to move into the area, the search continues for a missing 86-year-old Northwest Indiana man with Alzheimer’s disease.
Authorities issued a Silver Alert Saturday after Wayne Lee left his home overnight on 100 S near 600 W in unincorporated Porter County.
WGN spoke with Lee’s family Sunday and they’re spending the day searching for the missing grandfather.
“He’s still very active, gets around fine and knows his name. The problem is it’s advanced,” granddaughter Mandi Armalius said. “He looks at grandma and says ‘I want to go home, is this my home?’”
Armalius said in his current stage of Alzheimer’s, Lee acts like he’s in his 20s and tells many stories from that time period.
While family and authorities are searching a mile radius around the home, Armalius wonders if he tried to get back to his hometown in Kentucky.
“I would think someone would see him with no shoes on and say something,” Armalius said.
While unlikely he hitchhiked, family said they alerted all of the businesses he frequents in Valparaiso.
This isn’t the first time Lee has gone missing, but it’s by far the most extreme case.
The other incident that scared family occurred last summer. Lee was found at a gas station on Rt. 2 on the way to Valparaiso by two Porter County officers.
Family has alarms and extra locks in the home to help prevent this from happening. An alarm went off at 1:30 a.m. Saturday, but Lee was still in the home when checked on.
Family woke up at around 3:30 a.m. to find Lee missing.
Lee typically sleeps during the day and is up at night after a shift in his sleeping patterns, family said.
With time ticking before cold sets in, Lee needs his medication he takes everyday.
“The outfit in the picture was what he was wearing the night before,” Aramalius said. “That outfit, his tan coat and a black fedora are missing.”
The shoes he usually wears are still at the house, leading family and law enforcement to believe he left the house barefoot.
Police are sending extra patrols in the area, but are looking for a warmer lead to continue extensive searching. They spent Saturday until dusk searching woods and various areas with dogs.
All residents in the area received a call from police with Lee’s information.
If you have seen Lee, please call the Porter County Sheriff’s Office at 219-477-3000 or 911.