For the second time in little over a month, people at Mason Christian Village were hoping and praying for the safe return of an elderly resident who went missing.
Those prayers were answered around 8 p.m. Friday, when the Mason Police Department learned that Melvin Fitzharris had been located in Sabina, Ohio, after he stopped to ask for directions, a news release said.
Late Friday morning, Fitzharris, 83, left his residence in the retirement community on Western Row Road. He was last seen around noon at the U.S. Post Office on Reading Road. As of 7 p.m. Friday, there was no sign of him, said Brian Gibboney, spokesman for Mason Christian Village.
Fitzharris is among about 250 people who live in the village’s independent-living section, where residents come and go as they please and receive only minimal services, such as yard upkeep, home maintenance and social activities, Gibboney explained.
Likewise, a man who went missing last month, Thomas “Tim” Willwerth, 93, also was an independent-living resident, Gibboney said. That situation ended tragically: Willwerth died Sept. 6 when his vehicle crashed in the Chesaning area of Saginaw County, about 75 miles northwest of Detroit, just hours after he was reported missing.
Although both Fitzharris and Willwerth were diagnosed with conditions that could affect their thinking ability, both also have competent spouses who helped look out for them, Gibboney said. Fitzharris has Alzheimer’s; Mr. Willwerth suffered from dementia.