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ABC4 Exclusive Video: Missing and endangered man found safe thanks to alert news viewer

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SOUTH SALT LAKE (ABC4 News) – Police officers and worried employees of a nursing facility breathed a sigh of relief Friday morning after a missing and endangered man was found thanks to an alert news viewer.

56-year-old Johnie Turner walked away from the Meadow Brook Rehabilitation Center at 2700 South, 433 East around 2 o’clock Thursday afternoon.

On Friday morning, a Salt Lake City resident reported seeing Mr. Turner 4.3 miles away near 1300 South and 1100 West. A Salt Lake City Police officer picked him up and at 10:45 a.m. returned him back to the facility, extremely cold but otherwise O.K.

With overnight temperatures in the 30s and another snowstorm approaching, police had feared for Turner’s safety, especially since he was only wearing one shoe.

“Obviously the concern is hypothermia you know sets in early-onset with the cold,”  South Salt Lake Police Sergeant Matt Oehler told ABC4 News. “When he left he wasn’t dressed properly for the weather. His cognitive function was concerning and there were another of other factors as well.”

According to police, Turner was listed as endangered because of mental health and speech problems.

“It sounded like he was disoriented,” Sgt. Oehler said. “Somebody recognized him from the media output so that was a positive resolution. Got him safe and get him warm back to the facility here…It’s encouraging to know that there are citizens out there who have that concern and called when they realized something was amiss and specifically recognized this individual as someone who was in danger being out there in the elements.”

Officials from Meadow Brook did not want to go on camera citing privacy laws but some employees were crying tears of joy when Mr. Turner returned.

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