Local News

Elderly man missing for nearly 72 hours found safe; family learns lesson

Elderly man missing for 72 hours found

Colorado Springs, Colo. - An elderly Colorado Springs man missing since Friday afternoon is back with his family Monday night.

83-year-old Albert Tumblin went to the store for his daughter's birthday card around 2 p.m. Friday and didn't return home. "Hell," Tumblin said, "I just made the wrong turn and kept going. I couldn't realize what direction or where I was going."

Albert's son says his dad suffers from mild dementia and became disoriented behind the wheel. Tumblin was pulled over by a Springs police officer on suspicion of DUI at Vickers Drive. and Academy Bulevard. around 4 a.m. Saturday. Officers determined Tumblin was lucid. The octogenarian passed a sobriety test so police let him go.

Tumblin's son believes CSPD should have done more to protect his father's safety.

"The officer sure didn't protect him by letting him back in the car and drive off," Albert Jr. said.  "My dad is 84 years old. He suffers from a mental illness."

On Sunday, Tumblin made it almost to the Nebraska border before turning back and driving to Pueblo where a retired police officer spotted him and helped Tumblin reunite with his family.

"We cannot force a person to receive services or support to keep them safe if they don't want those services, even if they have dementia," senior care expert Kent Matthews said.

Albert Tumblin Jr. Is thankful to have the family patriarch back home. The younger Tumblin contends through this ordeal he learned an important lesson.

"This is the end for my dad driving behind the wheel," Tumblin said. "I know he likes his independence, but it's just time for us to be a little more cautious."   

Kent Matthews tells KRDO Newschannel 13 if Albert had a "safe alert" bracelet on his wrist, the officer who stopped Tumblin for suspected DUI would have known immediately Albert needed help.

For more information on senior care and senior living please email Matthews at: kmatthews@ppacg.org and click here.

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