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OXNARD : Missing Alzheimer’s Patient Found Safe

Two days after he wandered away from his Oxnard retirement home, an Alzheimer’s patient was found Sunday at the entrance to a local church, apparently waiting for the retirement home employee who was inside praying for his safe return, police said.

Stanley Baleson, 77, left the Channel Islands Gardens retirement home about 10 p.m. Friday with the apparent intention of taking a walk, Oxnard police said. When he was discovered missing, police and residents knocked on doors within a five-mile radius of the retirement home but found no trace of Baleson, police said.

Then on Sunday night, Dorito Sazzao, an employee at Channel Islands Gardens, was riding a bus home when she thought she saw Baleson standing on a corner near Pleasant Valley Road and C Street, police said. Jumping into her car upon getting home, she sped back to the area and drove around for several minutes but could not find Baleson, police said.

In frustration, Sazzao went to St. Anthony’s Church, about three miles away at Laurel and C streets, to pray for Baleson’s safekeeping, police said.

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When she emerged a few minutes later, there was Baleson, standing at the church’s entrance as though waiting for her to come out, police said.

Sazzao said her prayers were heard and answered, according to police.

She took Baleson back to the retirement home, where he told authorities that he had just taken a walk and was very tired, police said. He said he had spent the night and eaten dinner in the homes of various strangers, police said.


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