By Amaris Castillo
A Dracut man suffering from Alzheimer’s disease was found safe Sunday in Bedford after wandering away from home last Saturday morning, according to the Dracut Police Department.
Mark Bertolami, 51, was last seen Saturday, about 8:30 a.m., wearing a brown Carhart jacket, jeans and white sneakers, according to a press release from John Guilfoil Public Relations on behalf of the Police Department. A massive search then began.
“We are so glad he is home safe and really appreciate the community helping out,” Bertolami’s daughter, Lauren Bertolami, wrote in a private message Sunday to a Valley Dispatch reporter.
Lauren had posted a Facebook status Saturday about her father, who she said went for a walk without his phone. She later updated that he had been found.
Police Chief Peter Bartlett said Bedford police identified Bertolami on Sunday, just after 6 a.m., using an identification card he had on his person. He said Bertolami was encountered at Route 62 and Bonnievale Drive in Bedford. It’s a distance of about 15 miles from Dracut, according to Google Maps.
“We think he just walked however long it took him to walk there,” Bartlett said.
The police chief said Bedford officers transported Bertolami to their police station, where medical professionals checked him out.
“He was fine,” Bartlett said.
Bartlett also said Bertolami’s family was notified and that he was reunited with them Sunday morning. He expressed gratitude to state Rep. Colleen Garry and the group she leads, Dracut Volunteers Inc.
“There were over 25 volunteers that came out last night who were boots on the ground searching for him,” Bartlett said Sunday, adding that police dogs from the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council and local police departments provided trackers.
“Everybody really was willing to step up and do what they could to help find this gentleman,” he said.
Bartlett encouraged anyone in the community who has relatives with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia to contact Dracut Volunteers for access to tracking devices that assist police officers in finding them.
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