New Haven police help family reunite with man missing for decade - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New Haven police help family reunite with man missing for decades

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(WFSB file photo) (WFSB file photo)

A man from North Carolina who disappeared decades ago was reunited with his family last weekend thanks to the efforts of the New Haven Police Department.

Police said the man, whom they only identified as "John," went missing in 1994 from a small town in North Carolina.

They said Saturday, a man walked into the department looking to turn himself in. He was convinced there was a warrant out for his arrest.

However, police could not find any reason in their databases to arrest him. Inquiries across the country also turned up nothing. There was something, however, that got a hit out of North Carolina.

It only included a phone number that had been disconnected years ago.

As a result, they sent John on his way.

Eventually, officers in Putnam County, NY said they found something.

A family there had been looking for a "John" for decades, they said.

Police said the "hit" they found was likely a missing persons report.

The family called John a "Deadhead," a name given to fans of the Grateful Dead band. They said he followed the band around.

However, police said John didn't look the part.

The family also said he may have been involved in an illegal marijuana growing operation, which caused him to run.

Upon hearing the news of John's sighting, the family, including John's elderly mother, piled in an SUV and headed to New Haven.

John, however, had already left.

Police said John's mother provided her most recent photograph of her son. They said it could have indeed been the man who had tried to turn himself in.

They searched the city, but he was nowhere to be found.

Disappointed, the family headed back to New York.

Not satisfied, New Haven police continued to look for John.

They found him walking down a street in New Haven and asked him if he'd like to be reunited with his family.

Police said at first he was concerned about the "warrant," but he eventually agreed.

They got his family back on the phone and turned them around.

The reunion took place on the steps of the New Haven Police Department.

Police said John asked a lot of questions and his family answered.

When things started wrapping up, John said he had go to in order to get to a shelter in time or he'd have nowhere to stay for the night.

His family, however, said he could stay with them.

Police said it was a tearful moment and one of the happiest things to happen on the steps of the department.

Several days later, police report that all is well with John and his family.

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