A five-year-old in Fayetteville, Arkansas, is being recognized for his role in helping locate a missing man who suffers from Alzheimer’s.
Officers were working hard to locate 65-year-old Tony Joab, who disappeared after wandering away from home when they got help from an unexpected source, KNWA reported February 17.
The Alzheimer’s Association website described the disease as a form of dementia affecting a person’s memory, thinking, and their behavior.
Even though authorities searched tirelessly, they had not been able to find him, according to Lt. Scott Carlton of the Fayetteville Police Department.
“Darkness was moving out on us. We had rainfall coming in, and we had done everything we could to put the information out to the public to try to find him,” he added.
However, when Carlton and others began knocking on doors in a nearby neighborhood, they eventually arrived at Ezekiel McCulley’s home, and he said he noticed the man walking in the woods during recess hours before.
“I saved someone just off my eyes,” recalled Ezekiel, adding he was nervous while talking to the officers but did not regret it.
“I was kind of like, a little bit excited and scared at the same time,” he added, according to WBAL-TV.
Video footage showed the densely wooded area Ezekiel mentioned to authorities:
When officers returned, Ezekiel’s mother, Brittany McCulley, explained, “They told us they found him and that it was due to his tip. They asked if they could take a picture with him, and he has just been so excited since.”
In a social media post on February 17, the Fayetteville Police Department said it was a huge day for Ezekiel because first responders visited his school as a thank you for helping find Joab:
It was a good lesson for everyone to stay alert “because you never know something you might see is insignificant at the time may lead to saving someone’s life or help a family that is in need,” said Sgt. Anthony Murphy.
“And that family definitely was, and they’re very thankful,” he concluded.
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