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Steve Lopez: Help find this man released early from county jail

Family members are frantically searching for Mike Farrell, a 75-year-old Frazier Park resident who was released early Tuesday morning from the L.A. County Jail and may not be competent to find his way home.

Farrell was arrested last week on suspicion of driving under the influence, but his attorney said results of an alcohol test were negative and his family said he may have suffered a seizure.

"Mike epileptic and appears to be in early Alzheimer's," said Maureen Doherty, the missing man's sister.

Doherty said she and her brother, Tim Farrell, checked with jail authorities before midnight Monday, explained Mike Farrell's physical condition, and were assured he would not be released for several more hours.

But when Tim went to the jail before 6 a.m. today to get his brother, he was told he had been released just after midnight, despite assurances to the contrary.

Mike Farrell's wife, P.J., said she is not sure her husband is well enough to remember phone numbers, and may be unable to contact family members or find his way home.

Mike Farrell searched skid row Tuesday morning and in the afternoon, after the family contacted me, I searched with Tim Farrell for another 90 minutes. There was no sign of his brother at transit stations or near the jail.

[Updated at 5:20 p.m., Tuesday Nov. 5: L.A. Sheriff spokesman Steve Whitmore said jail officials are now telling him Farrell was taken to County USC Medical Center at 12:24 a.m. this morning because of his medical condition, but he left the hospital before being treated.

But Farrell’s sister tells me she checked with the hospital this morning and was told there was no record of her brother having been there. She also said family members had not been told anything about a medical transfer.

The family says it is concerned first and foremost about Mike Farrell’s well-being, but once that’s established, they want an explanation from the Sheriff’s Department as to the way in which the release has been handled.]

I'll have more on this story at a later date. In the meantime, if you've seen the man in the photo, contact me at and I will notify the family immediately.


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