Elderly man who wandered away from apartment found safe near SouthPark mall

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Police said an elderly man who suffers from cognitive issues and had been missing all morning has been found and that he is safe.

Officers were called around 5:30 a.m. Friday to an apartment complex on Leafcrest Lane, off Archdale Drive in south Charlotte.

A relative of Robert Groom told police the 77-year-old man left his home about 30 minutes earlier wearing a teal and white Carolina Panther’s jacket, jeans, slippers and an Army-green baseball cap.

Groom suffers from cognitive issues, and his family was very worried about his safety.

Just after noon, the man was found near the SouthPark Mall, police said. He was OK and was being reunited with his family.

Grooms was celebrating his son’s birthday at the apartment complex and was supposed to stay the night. His son believes he was trying to walk to his west Charlotte home more than seven miles away, but he has memory issues.

“I ran out. He was up in the parking lot, and so I came back in to get clothes, and by the time I came back out he was gone,” Barry Groom said. “They’re looking. They’re all out there in high numbers, so that’s good. I appreciate them.”

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