Plenty of questions remain concerning a missing 77-year-old Corpus Christi man and whether more could have -- or should have -- been done to make sure he found his way home.
Jose Garcia went missing a week ago after his van broke down on Champman Ranch Road. He was picked up by Bishop police, who then handed him over to Robstown police, who then dropped Garcia off at the Walmart at Five Points. Garcia has not been seen since.
One senior advocacy group is now questioning why the man was dropped off in that way.
"What they should have done was not drop the person off at a Walmart parking lot," said Judy Telge of the Coastal Bend Center for Independent Living.
Telge is the Director of Development at the Coastal Bend Center for Independent Living and said a red flag should have gone up the moment police discovered Garcia had no identification with him, no money, and was alone.
"That may be indicative of a condition where he may need some help, and certainly may need family if there is family," Telge said. "So what is the process that law enforcement has in place when they have a situation like that?"
Robstown City Secretary Herman Rodriguez agrees with Telge that more could have been done, but in the police department's defense, he said the officer detected no signs of Garcia being in any kind of distress, or showing signs of dementia. Rodriguez said Garcia told the officer he would be calling relatives to pick him up.
"It doesn't seem like any further attempts were made to make contact with any family members. I just wish he would have been delivered to his home," Garcia's nephew Hector said. "Him being 77 years old, you know. You look at him, he's frail, he's thin."
Garcia's nephew believes the situation could have been avoided.
Experts who deal with the elderly agree.
"I wouldn't do that. You wouldn't do that. Your cameraman wouldn't do that, right?" Telge said. "So if private citizens in this area, which we know there's good people, would not do that, then why would somebody who has sworn to protect and uphold the law and the community ever do that?"
Telge said the State Health and Human Services Department is looking to reach out to organizations to help train departments on protocals that could help in situations such as Garcia's.
For now, the search continues and the family waits and hopes for the best.
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