‘Lost’ old man found in bed

2013-05-24 00:00

A LOCAL family yesterday praised the police and helpful strangers who swung into action when an elderly man went missing for seven hours.

John Mallett (83) eventually found his own way home after getting lost on the way to Pietermaritzburg.

He had left Howick at around 3 pm to pick up his wife, Dorothy (81), from MediClinic. When he did not show up, his family became concerned. They put out messages on social networks and sought the help of the police to try to find him.

Mallet’s daughter, Sandy Sager, said she was overwhelmed by the support offered by family, friends and complete strangers who had seen the appeals on Facebook, Twitter and BBM to look out for her father.

“It is absolutely amazing what social networking can do. So many people came together to help find my father.

“People were driving at night trying to find him when they could have been at home.

“Strangers phoned me offering help to my family. The police were incredible; they had patrol cars out looking for him.”

Sager said Mallet had taken an alternative route to the highway to get to Pietermartizburg. This confused him and he got lost.

“He got disorientated. He couldn’t remember why he was going to Martizburg and thought he better get home. He turned around and drove, but kept on finding himself in the same place.

“We still don’t know how he found his way home, but when he did, he let himself in and went to bed. We found him there in the morning when we went to drop my mother off.”

Sager said of her mother, Dorothy: “Mom was amazingly calm. I think she knew he would be fine. Her being calm helped us be calmer.

“We are so relieved that my father is safe and was not hurt.”

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