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DV Pilot police & fire

Missing Bergenfield man, 81, found in neighbor’s backyard

Photo Credit: Courtesy Eric Wicklund

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: An 81-year-old Bergenfield man with Alzheimer’s who went missing Wednesday night was found tonight in a neighbor’s backyard, malnourished and dehydrated but otherwise apparently OK, borough police said.

Donald Wicklund was “conscious and verbal,” with “superficial” wounds, borough police said. He was taken to a local hospital by the Bergenfield Volunteer Ambulance Corp., they said.

“He is in very rough shape, and dehydrated, but his heart rate is good,” Wicklund’s son, Eric, wrote last tonight. “He survived 4 days out on his own, and hurt.

“The whole community was such a great help to me and my family,” he said. “The efforts were enormous from The Police, Firemen, Emt’s, K9 search and rescue, friends, and everyone who volunteered their time to help my father. I cannot thank you all enough!”

The U.S. Air Force veteran went for a walk around 8:30 Wednesday night wearing a blue t-shirt, black cotton pants, black shoes and a black watch on his left wrist and never returned, said his wife, Connie.

Broadcasts were immediately sent out to surrounding towns and beyond, and local area hospitals were checked, they said.

“One of the bloodhound dogs found a possible trail that ended near a bus stop on Washington Avenue in Bergenfield. There you can catch the 166 or 167 bus that stops in NYC Port Authority,” Eric Wicklund said earlier today. “We are investigating this lead.”

CLIFFVIEW PILOT forwarded his comments this afternoon to The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which distributed an alert with his father’s photo to its police officers.

PHOTO: Courtesy Eric Wicklund

The Bergenfield Police Department would like to thank the following agencies for assisting in the successful search and rescue efforts: The Bergenfield Fire Department, Bergenfield Auxiliary Police, Bergenfield VAC, Bergenfield OEM, Bergen County Sheriff Department, Bergen County Police Department, New Jersey State Police Missing Person Unit, New Jersey Search and Rescue (+2 dogs), Ramapo Search and Rescue (+dog), State Park Police (+dog), Dumont Police Department, Dumont VAC, Dumont FD, Cresskill PD, Vernon Police Department (+dog), Bergen County Police Department Dive team and the New Jersey State Police Dive team and all other agencies and volunteers who assisted.

( CLIFFVIEW PILOT adds its own “thank you” to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department.)

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