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Father with early onset-dementia found alive in Phoenix

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Posted at 7:32 PM, May 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-06 22:32:27-04

PHOENIX — A family is breathing a little easier, relieved their father was found alive in Phoenix Friday evening.

69-year-old Robert Goodall, who has early-onset dementia, disappeared from his Phoenix home Tuesday.

ABC15 talked to his daughter-in-law, Monica Dickerson, Friday morning.

At the time, she told us their family hadn't been able to get any sleep, as they were worried about Goodall's whereabouts. They were fearing the worst.

Tears rolled down Monica Dickerson’s face as she talked about her father-in-law.

“I really just want him home. I don’t care in what condition he’s in. I just want him home,” she said.

Dickerson says it is heart-wrenching to not know where 69-year-old Robert Goodall could be.

“I know my dad. This is not him. Something is wrong,” she added.

She says Goodall left home near 51st Avenue and Thomas Road Tuesday morning, like he usually does. Dickerson came home from work later that night and saw his bedroom door cracked open.

“And I didn’t think anything of it, that's how it usually is when I come home,” Dickerson told ABC15.

When Wednesday morning came…

“My son got up and was like ma, where’s my grandad?’” she said.

So, Dickerson started blowing up his phone.

“And it kept going straight to voicemail, which is not like him,” she told ABC15.

They immediately started looking for him and called Phoenix Police to file a missing persons report. Dickerson says they told police they feared he was lured out of the home by someone trying to steal his pension check.

“Either somebody set him up to be robbed or…maybe he was given something,” said Dickerson.

Goodall's phone was found Friday morning, in bushes, four miles away from their home.

The family says they updated Phoenix Police, emphasizing Goodall has early on-set dementia, but a silver alert was not issued.

“This should have never happened to him…and to know that nobody cares,” she said in tears.

ABC15 reached out to the Phoenix Police Department Friday morning, asking if an alert would be issued, and what the department was doing to aid in the search.

Phoenix Police responded saying a detective would talk to the family, and an alert would be issued if Goodall’s case met the criteria.

Goodall was found Friday afternoon.

She says she was happy to know he was alive. Though when she saw him for the first time in three days, she says her father-in law was disoriented.

Goodall telling her, he had passed out from heat exhaustion. The family is now focusing their efforts on hydrating him and giving him the care he needs.

It is still unclear what led to Goodall's disappearance.