Put on bus by persons unknown
By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
An 81-year-old man suffering from dementia, Celso Heredia, who disappeared from Long Island College Hospital (LICH) in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn on July 24, has been discovered in Fort Pierce, Florida, according to the NYPD.
A Silver Alert had been issued last week after Heredia disappeared under mysterious circumstances. SUNY Downstate, which operates LICH, has been emptying the hospital of patients in an attempt to close it.
A police spokesperson told the Brooklyn Eagle that Heredia was discovered at his home in Florida, but did not know how he got there from LICH, located in Brooklyn’s 76th Precinct.
According to the New York Times, Fort Pierce police had visited the address listed on Heredia’s identification card in June, but found no one there who knew him.
PIX 11 reported that Fort Pierce police said Heredia is in good condition, and are investigating how he made it all the way to Florida with no money or identification.
A long-time nurse at LICH told the Brooklyn Eagle that SUNY Downstate administrators, trying to clear LICH of patients, bought Heredia a bus ticket to Florida that was to leave on July 19. “Nurses would not complete the discharge -- they kept him there,” she said.
Heredia later disappeared, however -- despite armed security guards posted at every hospital exit and a door that required a special security code or card.
Heredia had been a patient at LICH since he was found wandering along the Brooklyn Queens Expressway in June. According to the New York Times, he thought he was in California and the year was 2005.