Advocacy for the Alzheimer's Association
Last year on June 20th, my father Andre Mayenzet left for a walk and never returned. The Police gave 48 hours of their time before getting cadaver
dogs out to find my father. The dogs were unsuccessful. Video surveillance from a local residence revealed that my father had hiked up past his
normal route. He ventured on a nature trail and disappeared.
Even though my father was not diagnosed with Alzheimer's, he had in essence wandered for the first time. Our flyers stated that he had dementia
even though he had no history of dementia. Our concern was that a mild stroke or seizure or state of dehydration may have led him to a state of
delirium which is dementia-like. If he had wandered into someone's backyard, I didn't want anyone to think of his as an intruder.
After two weeks of tireless searching by family, friends and two hundred volunteers within the community, one volunteer on day 14, was drawn
to the odor of death and found my father in repose and lifeless, enveloped in dense chaparral, thirty feet off of a remote coyote trail, one mile from our home.
My father had died of dehydration and exposure. If he had a cell phone or a GPS chip in his clothing, we could have found him in time to save him.
This loss has been devastating and if we had consulted the Alzheimer's Association before my father displayed any symptoms of mild dementia we
would have made sure that my father had a cell phone with him at all times.
My advocacy is to support the Alzheimer's Association because they can educate families to be prepared before symptoms begin. No family would
then ever experience the loss that can come with a first wandering.
OC Register link: View story here
Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot: View story here
Sheriff's Department was fine and Sheriff Doug Williams took extra time to investigate steep trails by South Coast Hospital in his spare time
with his son, which meant a lot to us.
I read in some newspaper blurb that someone for the LBPD said "He won't last the weekend in this heat." (relating to Day 4,5,6 after his disappearance).
All their actions subsequent to Day 4 were related to closing up the case. To me that was immoral and unforgivable. But they have their
procedures. I do believe that if I had received a pamphlet that said the following, I would have had an understanding of police protocol.
I could then have had the option of hiring my own dogs (I already hired my own helicopter), my own private investigator and the Sierra Club from Day 1.
Take info, get dog, get helicopter, look around a one mile radius.
Get dog, Close off area. Wait until 5-6 pm to get the Search and Rescue team in(Since they are volunteers and have day jobs) You will be
provided with 2-3 hours of their time.
No leads, no search. Turn to the media.
Your family member is probably dead, so don't call us over the weekend. But who knows we might get word over the weekend. We'll send out
cadaver dogs today, so everyone can have a great weekend.
LBPD answering machines will take messages and get back to you in 48-52 hours. Oh and we will respond to only 2 out of 4 e-mail messages in a span of 13 days.
Don't bother us with any questions or requests. Even if it's video surveillance tape of your father in Monarch Point on Day 2. We will
be busy with other cases regarding car theft and stolen goods.
We will watch video surveillance of 30 days of your father's hikes. Last Media side-show will be provided.
Show us the money( accounts, beneficiaries etc)If you don't or if you ask us to come to your house to acquire the information,we will yell
at you. Last cadaver dog run and P.S We will need the dental records. Here are the numbers of some volunteers who called in.
Don't call us. We probably won't call you.
Someone found a dead body, Stay where you are. We will finally call you back in 20 minutes.
We will give your father's lifeless body more attention than we gave him in life. Thank you and Good-bye.
If they had disclosed the above information, I could have intensified the search in the first 48 hours beyond the 30-50 volunteers that we had.
I could have hired people from the private sector.
Even though my father was ultimately a needle in a haystack between nature and suburbia, the LBPD, could have given us their policy handbook.