Last week Richard Micheaux, a decorated World War II veteran, put on his U.S. Open logo cap, blue carpenter jeans, an off-white shirt with black and red stripes and brown shoes, with his dog tags proudly draped around his neck.
Micheaux, 93, headed out his door last Tuesday morning for what was supposed to be a routine walk to the grocery store in the Hamilton Heights section of Harlem. He was supposed to return in time to accompany his 82-year-old wife, Margaret, to the bank at 9:30 a.m., but he didn’t come home, reports the New York Daily News.
Six days later, on Monday afternoon, police say, Michaeaux was found in Las Vegas sitting inside the lobby of the Flamingo Hotel. Hotel staff noticed him and called police after it became apparent that Michaeaux believed he was still in New York.
“I couldn’t believe it. I feel jubilation,” his son, Gregg Micheaux, 41, told the Daily News after his father was found. “I feel really, really happy.”
Gregg Micheaux told the newspaper that he was not sure how his father made it to Las Vegas, but noted that the credit card trail showed the elder Micheaux first being in Philadelphia and then in Las Vegas. Gregg Micheaux also told the newspaper that his dad had $200 on him when he left his home and that his father was found with no money or credit cards on him.
Richard Micheaux doesn’t have a known history of dementia and was found to be without injury after a hospital evaluation, the Daily News reports.
“He’s in his 90s, but you would never know it,” one neighbor told the Daily News. “He’s very active. Every day, rain, snow, whatever, he goes to the store.”
Gregg Micheaux became alarmed when his father failed to return home by 6 p.m. on the Tuesday he went missing, and his repeated calls to his father went unanswered.
The elder Micheaux was with the Air Force during World War II and was stationed in Australia and New Guinea, his son said, according the New York Daily News. The combat veteran was wounded in the back during battle but survived and still has shrapnel in his body.
He returned home after the war, working as a limo driver before eventually becoming a supervisor for the New York Telephone Co. and then for Verizon, according to his son, the Daily News notes.