Missing Albany man found on the other side of the country

January 21, 2019 06:18 PM

A 22-year-old man from Albany, whose family says suffers from schizophrenia and has autism, was found in Los Angeles, California Sunday. Dewayne Williams went missing on Jan. 11.

"It was exhausting physically, emotionally," said Williams’ step-mother Jasmine Pinn.

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Pinn said Williams was staying at the New Scotland Residence at the Capital District Psychiatric Center.

"It's the medication and that's the worry,” explained Pinn. “That once it wears off we don't know where, his judgment is already cloudy."

Pinn said they found out Williams got on a bus to Los Angeles, a place Williams had always dreamed of going. With few other clues to go on, Pinn, William’s mother and two other family members headed to L.A. in the hopes of finding him. When they got to the L.A. bus station, they were able to get footage of him at the station.

“We were like great, we know he's here we begin our search,” explained Pinn.

Then, after days of searching in places like Skid Row, they finally caught another break after someone saw Williams' picture on the news. He was found safe in West Hollywood.

“It just was an instant weight lifted,” said Pinn. “To go through something like that, I'm a mom first. Words can't explain what we felt.”

The mental health facility Williams stayed at in Albany allowed him to come and go. To some it may seem he can make his own decisions as an adult, but Pinn said that’s not the case.

“I get it this is not an amber alert but he's 22 and he has a special need that is the uniqueness of it,” said Pinn.

Even though the mental health facility reported that Williams was missing to Albany Police, Pinn said they didn’t do it quickly enough.

“Other residents were walking around with his clothes and sneakers on and stuff like that so that alone is alarming,” explained Pinn. “I think once he didn't come back for hours and no one contacted mom or dad to say have you seen Dewayne that's alarming to me.”

Williams is being treated at a hospital in California.

NewsChannel 13 did reach out to the New York State Office of Mental Health, which oversees the facility Williams was at, for a comment on the incident. We did not hear back.


Muneib Chater

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