December 15, 2009 in City

Missing man found wandering in snow, cold

Dementia patient taken to hospital for hypothermia
By The Spokesman-Review

A 78-year-old man with dementia spent most of Monday and early today wandering through downtown Spokane before he was located by police through a suspicious person call at 4 a.m., a police spokesman said this morning.

He was suffering from hypothermia and was taken to Deaconess Medical Center, police said.

On Monday, Elliott C. Spreen had last been seen about 10 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Doctors Building. Spreen didn’t have an appointment that day, so staff called his sister, whom he lives with in the area of 3700 E. Bridgeport Ave. Spreen was to take an STA bus home but never arrived, his sister told police.

Police scoured the area and notified STA drivers but found no sign of Spreen on Monday, said Sgt. Tracie Meidl.

“He is very unsteady on his feet and is on medication for tremors,” according to a news release.

Early this morning, police received a call from Browne’s Addition about a suspicious man in the neighborhood, and it turned out to be Spreen, said Officer Tim Moses.

Later, police learned that Spreen had gone into a convenience store and food outlet at Fourth Avenue and Maple Street about 1 a.m., but no report was made about him at the time. He left the store and apparently continued walking during overnight snowfall.

“He’d been wandering around quite a little bit,” Moses said.

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