Missing man, 87, found in La Pine

Bend police began searching Tuesday night

BEND, Ore. - An 87-year-old man who disappeared in Bend when he became separated from his daughter in another vehicle was found safe in La Pine Wednesday morning, Deschutes County sheriff's deputies said.

Sheriff's Sgt. Mark Eggert said Wallace (George) Birdwell was found when an employee at a property management firm on William Foss Road reported he'd come in looking for an apartment, and saw his van matching the description of the one being sought.

Birdwell had been staying with his daughter, Cat Birdwell, in Redmond after being evicted from his home in Christmas Valley, a family friend said. They were driving from Redmond to Bend in separate vehicles when the daughter lost sight of his van around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday near Shopko on Bend's north end, they said.

Bend police Sgt. Todd Fletcher said Birdwell, who has mild dementia, was last reported seen around three hours later at the Safeway at NE Third Street and Franklin Avenue, where he apparently asked for directions to Walmart.

Officers in the area were looking for Birdwell and his van in parking lots and other locations, Fletcher said, adding that Oregon State Police also were given his description and that of his vehicle.

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