Missing Man With Dementia Stumbles Into Newscast on Him (video)

Thursday, 30 May 2013 12:45 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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An elderly man with dementia went missing in Maine Monday but was found 14 hours later by a news crew reporting on his disappearance outside of his home.

Robert McDonough, 73, wandered into the background as reporters from the ABC affiliate WMTW were preparing a shot for a live report on his disappearance Tuesday. McDonough approached reporter Norm Karkos and asked what was going on. Karkos recognized him as the missing man he was reporting on and the crew called the Maine Warden Service, which is the lead agency in Maine for search-and-rescue calls.

The Warden Service had been searching the nearby woods all Monday night for McDonough, employing K-9 dogs, infrared sensors, and helicopters. The man had apparently spent the night in the cold but didn’t appear to be injured, other than a spot of blood on his hand.

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"We probably would have found him eventually, but it's difficult to search at night, and we're very thankful he was found alive," John MacDonald, of the Maine Warden Service, told ABC News.

McDonough appeared confused when the news crew first questioned him. He reportedly doesn’t remember why he wandered off.

"He's never done this before, but you can't predict this and we'll keep a closer eye on him," one of McDonough's family member told ABC News. "We're currently looking into GPS devices that he can wear so we can track his location in case this happens again."

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Related stories:

Three Early Signs of Alzheimer's Identified 

Movement During Dreams Signals Dementia: Mayo Clinic

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