Man Missing for Two Weeks Found Unharmed in L.A. : Search: The 32-year-old private security guard was not kidnaped but became ‘lost’ because of a mental disability, authorities say.
A private security guard who had been missing for two weeks was found just after midnight Wednesday in South Central Los Angeles, unharmed but slightly bewildered by the experience, authorities said.
Law enforcement officers and private investigators hired to search for Michael Jerome Williams, 32, concluded that he was not abducted or held against his will but had become “lost” since July 26 because of a mental disability, officials said.
“The family was very relieved,” said Nelda Gonzalez, an investigator with Roberts Protection and Investigations. “They were very concerned, and quite frankly, I think they were expecting the worse.”
Williams disappeared after leaving his Santa Ana home for Newport Beach to pick up his paycheck and new security guard uniform. The mystery surrounding his disappearance intensified late last week when Anaheim police stopped three teen-agers who were in a rental car that Williams had been lent while his own car was being repaired.
The private investigators were hired during the weekend, and on Monday, Williams’ father, the Rev. Frank Williams, assistant pastor at Friendship Baptist Church in Long Beach, set up a trust fund to help in the search for his son.
Gonzalez said that in the 48 hours that followed news reports about Williams’ disappearance, investigators received more than 150 telephone calls, and one of those contacts helped lead them to the missing security guard.
“Michael was told by people in Los Angeles that he was being sought after by his family and was reported missing,” Gonzalez said. “He thought he had better get in contact.”
At the request of the family, the private investigations firm released only sketchy details of Williams’ disappearance.
Gonzalez said Williams was left stranded in Los Angeles after giving a woman a ride to the area. She eventually turned the car over to the juveniles who were detained last week by Anaheim police.
Williams befriended a man who offered to share his trailer home and also lent him some clothes, Gonzalez said. Williams later contacted a friend who then notified the missing man’s family. They were reunited early Wednesday morning.