Missing Collegedale man found - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Missing Collegedale man found

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COLLEGEDALE, TN (WRCB) -

A missing elderly man from Collegedale is now safe. He was found more than 120 miles from his home.

Collegedale Police say 86-year-old Morris Taylor, better known as Rudy, suffers from dementia. Around 2 o'clock Sunday, he drove off from his Collegedale home. It was more than 12 hours later, police in Habersham County Georgia found him.

"This is the first time the Collegedale Police Department has used the Silver Alert system," says Detective Jamie Heath with Collegedale Police.

Heath says as soon as his department got the news 86-year-old Rudy Taylor was missing, he issued an alert for all law enforcement east of the Mississippi.

"He does live with his wife, who is an Alzheimer's patient. She couldn't give us a clothing description and I don't even think she realized he was missing."

The couple's caretaker told police Rudy was known to drive, but only recently his dementia progressed.

"That's what led me to do the Silver Alert," says Heath.

Heath says in the wee hours of the morning, police in Habersham County contacted his department.

"We got notified a little bit after 4 o'clock in the morning, about an hour or two after the alert went out. He was located in Habersham County Georgia."

It turns out, Rudy once lived in Kentucky, and told police that was where he was trying to go.

"They found Rudy in the vehicle that he left in. They said that he was severely disoriented. He was saying that he was on the way to Kentucky where his residence was."

Rudy was pulled over for driving the wrong way down the road.

"Thankfully, it was early enough in the morning where there wasn't a whole lot of traffic to where there could be any problems or anything like that," says Heath.

Heath says the Silver Alert public notification system is a big help when trying to find Alzheimer's patients or people with dementia.

"The challenges are, you really don't know which direction they're going because you don't know what stage they're reverting back to in their mind."

Heath is just glad Rudy is safe.

"We're glad he was found safe and sound," says Heath.

With no family in the area, Rudy's caregiver made the three hour trip down to Habersham County to pick him up and drove back Monday afternoon.

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