Non-verbal special needs man found wandering at Detroit gas station

- A man with Down syndrome who wandered away from home Tuesday night.

FOX 2 received several calls from loved ones -- ID'ing that man who can't speak.

Several people claiming to be relatives of that man have contacted the station and have arrived at Detroit Receiving Hospital, where he was taken by police.

He was found at a gas station at Seven Mile and Grand River and he was first reported missing from Southfield police at about 10:40 Tuesday evening.

FOX 2: "He just walked in on his own?"

"He walked in on his own," said Mohamed Saleh, the gas station worker.

FOX 2: "No one dropped him off?"

"Nothing, we didn't see nothing," Saleh said. "All we know is he was in here and the whole situation happened."

And for hours now a mentally disabled man has been unaccounted for.

He walked into the BP gas station on Seven Mile and Grand River around 4:30 Tuesday afternoon.

Mohamed Saleh says the man grabbed chips and pop and wandered around the store.  Workers tried to talk to him, but he could not speak, he could not write and had no ID.

It became apparent almost immediately they had a problem.

FOX 2: "You guys don't know who's responsible for him?"

"No, nope," Saleh said.

FOX 2: "And so now, technically, you are."

"Yep and calling, trying to figure out and nobody (has come)," Saleh said.

Saleh says he and others called 911 several times but Detroit police did not show up until nearly three hours later.

Officers said the first step was reaching out to adult foster care homes.

"There's like several in the area so we're going to try to see if he belongs to one of them and then go from there," said one of the officers. "Because he's missing from somewhere."

But that fell through no adult foster care home reported the man as missing.  This left those who spent hours looking after him frustrated.

"If you all are looking at this you all need to do better," said customer Carlos Gardner. "Whoever did it, you all need to do better."

And this man, helpless.

"What if that's somebody's child man," Saleh said. "That's somebody's kid, that's somebody's brother. I mean who are you going to call?"

A woman claiming to be the man's cousin could not explain why or how the man wandered from Southfield where he is apparently from, to Detroit at Seven Mile.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories