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Missing man with Alzheimer's found by off-duty officer

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MILLCREEK — A missing man with Alzheimer's was found Sunday afternoon when an off-duty Unified Police officer recognized him from an endangered missing advisory.

Derald Nielson, 69, was reported as missing Saturday afternoon after his wife reported last seeing him at the home at 10 a.m. according to a Unified Police news release. Nielson was reported as having an advanced stage of Alzheimer's and his wife said she was afraid that he wouldn't be able to find his way home after he had wandered off.

An endangered missing advisory was issued by the UPD Saturday afternoon.

Nielson was located Sunday at 1:15 by an off-duty UPD officer. Nielson was walking along a road in the area of 6200 S. Redwood Road.

Nielson was checked by the Unified Fire department and transported to the V.A. Hospital with minor injuries as a result of dehydration.

Nielson is a repeated wanderer because of his disease — made more problematic because of his good physical condition, according to Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal.

"He's known to walk and walk great distances," he said.

Officers checked on the regular places Nielson frequented in the past during his previous wanderings, but with no luck. Hoyal said it was unclear Sunday what transpired during his latest absence.

"He's gone significant distances from his home. It is not uncommon for him to walk and just keep walking and get quite a ways from home," he said.

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