Missing man, 75, found alive in woods

Published On: May 21 2013 11:01:42 AM EDT   Updated On: May 21 2013 09:32:30 PM EDT

It was miraculous news for one Jacksonville family. A 75 year-old man, who disappeared four days ago, is discovered today, alive and well.


A 75-year-old Jacksonville man who'd been missing for four days was found alive Tuesday morning in a wooded area about a mile from his Westside home.

Gustafo Loli was found at about 11 a.m. near Frank H. Peterson Academy, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Chief Tom Hackney said.

He said Loli was dehydrated and tired from being without food and water, but was "alive and well." He was taken to UF Health Jacksonville to be checked.

The JSO dive team and search crews began looking Monday for Loli near Oak Hill Nazarene Church. They searched a pond in the 7800 block of Gregory Drive, as well as wooded areas.

Hackney said crews from JSO and Jacksonville Fire-Rescue's urban search and rescue unit did a thorough grid search of the area and found Loli.

"He shuffled his way 1.08 miles from his home, where he was found laying in a wooded area," Hackney said.

Loli was last seen on foot leaving his home on Foxdale Drive at 3:30 p.m. Friday and had not been seen nor heard from since.

Police said Loli moved to Jacksonville from New York with his family just one month ago and likely didn't know his way around. According to JSO, Loli is an insulin dependent diabetic and has been diagnosed in the late stages of dementia.

"It's nice to come forward with positive news," Hackney said. "The missing persons units investigates a lot of missing persons cases. This one rose to this level due to the fact that he couldn't get along well, his lack of mobility, his medical conditions. And this is why we do what we do."

Hackney said Loli was alert and able to answer questions.

"He knew what day it was. He knew what day he had left," Hackney said. "He was very pleased. You could see a very large smile on his face."

He was reunited with his family. It was the news Loli's son, Omar, had been praying for.

"This day is going to be marked in my life calendar for the rest of my life," Omar said. "This is amazing, a victory. Yes, like a victory."

"That really touches your heart when you see family members go back with him and have a positive conclusion," Hackney said.


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