Missing Midland Man With Alzheimer's Found Dead Behind Odessa Home

Missing Midland Man With Alzheimer's Found Dead Behind Odessa Home

by Zora Asberry
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - A missing man was found dead Saturday afternoon in Odessa in the 1200 block of Honeysuckle Avenue. He was later identified as 87-year-old Isaiah Tunson.

Tunson was visiting family members in Odessa when he was reported missing. Police began the search around 9:45 a.m. Saturday morning but did not find Tunson until 2:30 p.m.

Tunson suffered with Alzheimer's disease and officials believe that his disease may have lead to wandering. Detectives weren't able to determine whether cold weather was a factor in his death.

NewsWest 9 also spoke with neighbor's and family members who are now mourning the loss of Isaiah Tunson.

Darryl Smith, Lieutenant with the Odessa Police Department, said, "As we know people with Alzheimer's, they tend to wander and the only thing I can assume is that he wandered and this is where he ended up."

Isaiah Tunson's daughter, Nancy Brown-Tunson, said, "It just baffles us, we thought somebody had come and got him because he never walked off like that and for them to just find him around the corner, it's just really something. I just know he's in a better place now and we miss him."

Neighbors that live near where Tunson was found say they had wished they would have known sooner so that they could have helped with the search and could have possibly prevented this from happening.

"We just wish we could have bumped into him, saved him from all of this, seen him out there," Neighbor, Elizabeth Zargoza said.

The family was on the scene where Tunson was found and were clearly devastated by their loss. Tunson's daughter had these loving words to say to her father, suggesting that he is now in heaven.

"I love him and I miss him so much, he's just the joy of my life. He's all I had and he was a man of God, I'm okay. I'm okay with that because I know where he's at," Brown-Tunson said.

Alzheimer's Disease is a constant battle for those diagnosed and for their loved ones. But for those dealing with family members with Alzheimer's, Nancy Brown-Tunson gave this advice.

"I would say to anybody that's dealing with Alzheimer's, please get you a support group, I don't know what I would have done without my support group. Because your family and other people on the outside looking in, they don't understand," Brown-Tunson said.

"If you have family with Alzheimer's, the best thing to do is to just watch them close. I believe in the past, the Sheriff's Department had a program where you can attach sensors to them and they will be able to locate them. I'm not sure if they still have that, so if they do, I would say you would need to contact them and see about doing that," Smith said.

For those with family members that have Alzheimer's, it's important to find a support group. You can also find out more information on the disease and how to get help by visiting the Alzheimer's Association online at www.alz.org.