Family of missing Anchorage man seeks public's help
The family of an Anchorage man, who has been missing for more than a week, are asking for help finding him. Joe Orand, 53, who goes by "Grant", has been missing since last Sunday -- when he was released from Providence Alaska Medical Center following a bipolar episode.
Anchorage Police consider him a vulnerable adult because of the condition, which interferes with his ability to make decisions.
According to APD, Orand jumped out of a taxi cab on the corner of Tudor Road and Checkmate Drive Sunday afternoon. Orand lives about a block away. The cab driver was taking him back to the hospital after Orand realized he didn't have his house key with him.
Orand's mother, Joleene, says he was probably delusional at the time and may have believed the cab driver posed a threat to his safety.
That was the last time he was seen.
Joleene Orand also says her son was only diagnosed with bipolar disorder recently, and that it hasn't been a lifelong, chronic condition. She says he did have a drinking problem, which she believes may affect his liver and cause delusions.
She and Grant's father took him to Providence on Saturday when they noticed he'd started removing his clothes in the back of their car, and realized he might be having an episode. Now, she wishes Providence would have tried harder to reach her before releasing Grant on his own.
Grant's Brother-in-law, Daniel Buitrago, describes him as a quiet and reserved person, a dog lover who liked to take long walks in the woods. After he went missing, his family held out hope he would eventually show up at home. When that didn't happen, they were worried about the worst case scenario.
"I've gone and searched several of the trails," Buitrago said. "We've checked some of the homeless camps and stuff like that [thinking] maybe he wandered off over there."
Buitrago says he saw Orand the day before he went missing, and everything seemed fine.
"When I came to meet him that Saturday, he seemed totally normal, he seemed totally fine, and we had a talk for a good hour on all kind of stuff that he wanted to do with the house," Buitrago said.
As Buitrago searches for clues, he's finding more than he expected.
"I've watched his behavior for a month, he was going psycho on me," a neighbor, who knocked on the door of Orand's house, told Buitrago. "When he'd come threaten me with a baton, I wasn't too worried because if he would have swung at me, I would have taken it away from him but man, I really felt sorry for him."
Buitrago, who's known Orand for nearly seven years, says he's never seen that side of him.
Now, after more than a week of searching in the cold, Buitrago worries Orand's struggle with mental health may have cost him his life.
In a statement Monday, Providence Alaska Medical Center said Orand is not listed in the hospital's patient directory, and that state and federal patient privacy laws prevent the organization from discussing specifics about patient care.
"We are always concerned for the safety and welfare of our patients. All persons evaluated by the Emergency Department for a mental health concern receive a full psychological health assessment and a full physical health assessment. If the patient is deemed stable, they are discharged with an appropriate follow-up care plan," wrote Mikal Canfield, a spokesperson for Providence.
It appears Orand meets several of the criteria for a Silver Alert, but one was not issued. KTVA has requested an interview with an APD investigator to understand why.
Copyright 2017 KTVA. All rights reserved.
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