Police locate second missing Special Olympics athlete, a teen from Ivory Coast

Hours after a missing Special Olympics athlete was found hundreds of miles north of Los Angeles, a second athlete who had disappeared was found -- but much closer.

Shion Isimel, a 15-year-old table tennis player from Ivory Coast, was found about 2 p.m. Monday in Inglewood, said Lt. James Kirk of the Inglewood Police Department.

“He’s in good health,” Kirk told The Times.

The exact circumstances of how Shion was found were not immediately available, but it closes a search that continued all morning for the athlete, who has autism.


Shion, who speaks only French, went missing at Los Angeles International Airport earlier in the day after walking away from the Delta Airlines ticketing area. He was last seen about 5:49 a.m. on surveillance video footage at 96th Street and Sepulveda Boulevard, according to Los Angeles Airport Police. Shion was waiting for a departing flight.

Earlier, Special Olympics athlete Andi Gusmari, 44, was found in the Bay Area city of Hayward after he went missing Saturday.

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Gusmari walked into the Hayward Police Department’s headquarters about 1:30 a.m. Monday, saying he was hungry, said Los Angeles police officer Sara Faden. When Hayward officers looked up his information, they discovered he was reported missing and called Los Angeles police. He was in good condition.

A Special Olympics committee member will travel to Oakland Airport on Monday and meet with Hayward police. From there, the representative and Gusmari will return to Los Angeles and catch another flight to Albania to reunite him with his family, Faden said.

Details about how he traveled hundreds of miles north weren’t immediately clear.

Gusmari, whose sport is bowling, was last seen more than 24 hours ago on the USC campus, police said. He was at a festival at USC about 8:30 p.m. Saturday. At some point, Gusmari went to the restroom and was separated from his delegation.

Later that night during bed check at the campus dormitories, the delegation noticed Gusmari was missing. Police searched the entire campus overnight but couldn’t find him.

Authorities believed Gusmari might have been trying to make his way to the Los Angeles International Airport, where the Albania delegation was expected to catch a flight home Sunday afternoon.

Shion and Gusmari were among 6,500 athletes who participated in last week’s Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. The Games drew representatives of 165 countries.

Times staff writers Lauren Raab and Joseph Serna contributed to this report.

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