A 79-year-old Cortez man suffering from dementia was found safe south of Grand Junction early Saturday after he disappeared Thursday afternoon in is 2005 Silver Subaru Outback.
“He’s doing better than I am,” said Anne Current, wife of Charles “Chuck” Current, 79. “He knows a little bit of what he did, but he doesn’t know how far we went or what he did.”
Anne said she found receipts for gas from Kayenta, Arizona, from Thursday, and for a motel in Mexican Hat, Utah, Thursday night. From Friday night, she found a receipt for gas from Pagosa Springs. She said he was stopped about 5 a.m. by a Colorado State Patrol trooper about 10 miles south of Grand Junction on Colorado Highway 50.
“He must have driven all night Friday to get from Pagosa Springs to Grand Junction. We asked him where he slept, and he thought he slept at home Friday night. He must have napped in the car and drove all night. He remembers driving in mountains with snow at night. We’ll never know where,” she said.
Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin said Charles Current, who suffers from diabetes and heart disease, was stopped early Saturday for weaving in traffic.
“He was fine, just a little dehydrated,” Nowlin said. He was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction.
Taking the keys away from a loved is a difficult but necessary step to prevent people going missing and preventing potentially catastrophic situations, Nowlin said.
“The freedom we have, the ability to go where we want when we want – it’s a difficult thing to take away,” Nowlin said.
Anne said her husband was headed to his doctor’s office in Cortez when he became disoriented.
She said he has been diagnosed with late Stage 1 or early Stage 2 vascular dementia.
“Everyone was extremely helpful. We’re grateful to search and rescue, the police and everyone who helped look for him,” she said. “I’m a big advocate for the silver alert. I don’t know if they would have found him without that.”
Anne said she plans to sell her husband’s Subaru, but for now, it is parked at a friend’s house out in the country.