With the assistance of a keen-eyed customer, Claude Bullington was located unharmed at an Ottawa Casey’s General Store early Tuesday morning. Bullington went missing from his south Kansas City home about 1:30 p.m. Monday.
Cheri Mcneill, a Casey’s employee, said Bullington did not seem upset or scared, just lost.
“We just talked to him and kept him in here until the police got here,” Mcneill said at the store’s 304 N. Main Street location. “He was confused. He was lost. He was looking for 71 highway.”
One of the store’s regular customers noticed Bullington at the store, Mcneill said, and noted he was the subject of a silver alert, which is an alert system for missing elderly persons. The customer called police, Mcneill said, and Casey’s employees kept him calm until police arrived.
Bullington’s family told Kansas City Police he had the onset dementia, Sgt. Chris Young, with the Kansas City, Mo. Police Department, said Tuesday. Despite being missing for nearly 18 hours, Young said, Bullington was unharmed and didn’t need medical attention.
“He was a little shook up,” Young said. “They said he was in good health and good spirits but just a little bit confused and scared I think more than anything.
“He didn’t really understand what was happening, where he was and how come it was so difficult to get home.”
Bullington left his home Monday afternoon on a trip to a location near Harrisonville, Mo., about 45 minutes south of Kansas City. He had intended to get his truck inspected at the store where the truck was purchased, Young said, but apparently the location no longer is in business. Bullington’s family reported to police that his credit card was used in El Dorado and again in Peculiar, Mo., which is within 12 minutes of his house.
“He just didn’t know how to get home, I’m guessing, and just drove on out to Ottawa,” Young said.
Ottawa police were keeping Bullington at the station until his family could make arrangements to take him and his vehicle home, Young said.