LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - A Dona Ana County man suffering from Alzheimer's was found nearly two hours after wandering away from home with the help of Project Lifesaver.
"He just walked out the front door," Grand-daughter Karelly Marin told ABC-7. "We didn't hear the door close and we were gone for two minutes, which then turned into looking for a couple hours."
Severo Rodriguez, 92, lives with his family on the 15000 block of B Street in Organ.
"When I couldn't locate him in the spaces that he is normally is in," Marin said, "that is when we called the Sheriff's Department." Marin called Monday night around 5:45. Dona Ana County Sheriff's Deputies and a Project Liffesaver coordinator were sent to Rodriguez's last known locations, and with the help of a radio receiver, they tried to ping Rodriguez's bracelet transmitter.
Within two hours, the receiver began to pick up a signal near U.S. 70. Employees from the NASA Test Facility had reportedly driven by Rodriguez on the NASA access road and offered Rodriguez a ride home.
"When he was found he was very, very tired and exhausted," Marin said. "His mouth was basically white," she added.
Rodriguez's bracelet was picked up by the receiver as the car drove by, and the coordinator was able to give a license plate number to deputies ahead. The car was stopped and Rodriguez was identified. Deputies then returned him home safely.
"We definitely recommend (Project Lifesaver)," Marin said. " It is impossible to keep an eye on them 24 hours a day." She added, "it is so important for other families with similar situations to involve themselves in the program.
Project Lifesaver is a service hosted by the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department that provides timely response to save the lives and reduce potential injury of adults and children who wander due to Alzheimer's, dementia, certain forms of autism and other related conditions.
The service is available to anyone in Doña Ana County for a $10 monthly maintenance fee.
For more information, or to get a bracelet, call Project Lifesaver Coordinator Stephen Dail at (575) 525-8862.